Scripture: Acts 9: 32-43
Key verse: (42) “This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.”
Reflection: There are two miraculous healings in today’s scripture passage. Both stories reinforce Peter’s authority to minister in the name of Jesus Christ. The healing of Tabitha – raising her from the dead – renewed Peter’s relationship with the community of widows. Earlier in the book of Acts, the Apostles got off to a bad start with this group. Now they have the opportunity to give thanks for him and the power of Christ to heal. The healing of Aeneas led an entire community to turn to the Lord. These are wonderful stories about how God uses God’s power to transform lives – not just the lives of those who were healed but the lives of everyone who witnessed the healing. There is still a question that followers of Jesus ask and wonder about: why are some people healed and others are not? We want the same healing in our lives that we read about in scripture.
I have prayed for many people over the years. People I loved who I hoped would be healed. Some have recovered and some have not. There is a mystery here that only God understands. But, then I have seen how God heals in many ways beyond my expectation and imagination. I don’t pretend to understand these miracles. I have seen people healed, but not cured. I have seen relationships restored and new and renewed faith emerge. God takes a wider view that is hard to understand when an accident, illness or sudden death enters our lives. We want to make sense of what is happening. We want God to keep bad things from happening to us. In the moment it can be difficult to see the active presence and mercy of God all around us. God is present when we long for a miracle and calls us to live by faith. In the book of Hebrews, we are reminded that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” No matter the outcome, God continues to heal and to help.
Prayer: Merciful God, there are so many things we don’t understand. Help us to place our lives in your hands knowing that nothing can separate us from your love. We give thanks that you hear our cries for healing and that you are always with us, no matter what might happen in this life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].