These past twelve days I have been recovering from what was supposed to be a “minor” surgery to remove the “hardware” from a previous surgery just below my knee. It had done its job after five years, and would be in the way of a future knee replacement, so I was very grateful to have it arranged while my husband was off work for the week. All was going as expected for the first couple days until I awakened early in the morning of day three and discovered I was shivering uncontrollably – I had a high fever! So, at 6AM, my husband took me to the ER and after X-rays and blood work, the doctor concluded I had a post-surgery wound infection. Following two types of IV antibiotics, I was sent home with a prescription for ten days of antibiotics and an order to return the next morning for more IV antibiotics. By the time I returned home I was miserable, exhausted, had no appetite and no energy. I was so disappointed that an infection could set me back so far when really my leg was pain-free and not the big problem!
On Tuesday of this past week, I was finally able to open my Bible and actually read something and feel I was absorbing worthwhile nourishment for my weary soul. The Lord reminded me of a story which only comprises seven verses in the whole of Scripture and they are found in three different books – Matthew, Mark, and Luke. As I studied this little account it was very interesting to see how each author told basically the same story but with slightly varied wording and perspectives. All three men were disciples of Jesus and heard and saw first-hand the ministry of this man who claimed to be the Messiah, the promised Saviour of all who would believe in Him.
“As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.” (Mark 1:29-30, NIV)
Prior to this event, Jesus had recently called the first of His disciples and He was teaching in the temple. While there, they and many others had witnessed Jesus cast an evil spirit out of a man with an authority they had never seen before. This created quite a buzz and news spread quickly about this man who “gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him.” (1:27-28)
Then Jesus entered the privacy of Simon’s home (he was later called Peter) and we learn his mother-in-law was very ill. Luke, a physician, refers to it as a “high fever”, so she really was drained of all energy, appetite, and no doubt shivering uncontrollably. In those days, such a fever could quickly lead to death without the modern medical interventions we have today, especially in developed areas of our world. I’m so grateful for the medical team which so quickly diagnosed and treated my high fever and infection!
I love the way Jesus responded to their request to help her! First, He saw her (Matthew 8:14). Jesus always sees when we are suffering and in need of help. Nothing escapes His view and He is always there for us.
Secondly, He touched her on the hand and helped her up. Jesus knew the comfort that comes from physical contact. It communicates, “I care about you and I am here to help in whatever way I can.” The gentle hand on my shoulder as the nurse prepared me for administering those stinging IV antibiotics, the kindness and helpful gestures of the X-ray technicians, and the handshake and eye contact of the ER doctor all helped to ease my discomfort and anxiety.
Thirdly, He spoke to the fever and commanded it to leave the woman (Luke 4:39). There is ultimate authority in the name of Jesus and we can exercise that power as we pray for those who are ill and suffering. I’m so thankful for the dozens of caring friends and family who are continuing to pray, in Jesus’ name, for my healing.
Luke records her healing was immediate and she “at once” got up and waited on them, probably preparing a meal. I’m twelve days out and still unable to put a meal on the table! So, there’s no doubt in my mind of the miraculous and instantaneous healing Jesus performed that day. He still has that power today and though He often allows our healing to take much longer, or not at all, I take great comfort in the fact that He sees me, touches me, and speaks with authority into my daily circumstances! I’m trusting that He knows best and will use whatever I go through to demonstrate His power, glory, and divine plan.
Until next Sunday,Kathy