From The Progressive Redneck Preacher blog. The author is a former WCG minister.
Read the entire story here:As I reflect on the Psalmist’s words, fleshing out who this “Great I AM” is revealed to Moses in Exodus 3-4, I find myself stumbling a bit over this description of Yahweh, whose name is usually translated “The LORD”, but which I render “the Living One” here as an allusion to God’s explanation that Yahweh is the I Am in opposition to gods that are not. This Living One or One Who is “heals all our diseases”.I remember as a young boy in the Church of God movement in which I was blessed as a baby and raised, hearing a lot about healing. Though this particular Church of God movement was not the Pentecostal movement called Church of God, but instead a Church of God group that was a spin-off of the Seventh Day Adventists, boy did they believe in healing. I was told coming up how daddy and momma tried real hard to become parents to no avail. And how they went finally, in an act of desperation and faith, came to the preacher at the Church of God and he (yes, these churches only had preachers who were “he’s”: no women preachers since Jesus wasn’t a woman, after all) took healing oil, anointed momma like it says to be anointed in the book of James, and “bam!” next thing we knew my big brother was on the way. And then, one after another, each of the rest of us four children came into the world. Growing up with that story of anointing and healing inspired me, especially with a name liked “Micah” taken from the story of the Bible prophet, to see my life as having begun with great purpose. To see myself, like the Psalmist in Psalm 139, as knit together even in my mother’s womb with potential to be one who, together with God, helped the world become more beautiful and whole.Yet I also remember growing up hearing a counter-story. Each of us, when we got sick, in turn, had the preachers of the church come, take that book of James healing oil and smear it on our foreheads, praying for God’s healing presence to be known. So many stories were told of how it brought healing and comfort to us. Daddy told us too, though, how one of us had oil placed on their head, when dealing with meningitis. Like a snap of the fingers, that meningitis went away. Yet, years later, this dear little one developed childhood diabetes. And all the anointing and praying in the world wouldn’t take it away. Daddy agonized over that. How could God be healer, if God touched us in so many healing ways through their faith and the preacher’s hands, yet also didn’t heal something as serious as diabetes?Later, other conditions of all types struck our family and each of us in turn struggled over how to understand God as the Living One “who heals our diseases”.
The Dilemma of God as Healer in a World of Illness, Pain, and Disability