“29And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.” ~ Mark 1:29-31
In this brief passage, Simon Peter’s mother-in-law demonstrates the right response to healing, which is service. As soon as she was healed, she set about serving Jesus and the rest of the household. Likewise, when God removes an obstacle from our path, whether it is a health problem, a financial problem, a social problem or something else, our reasonable response to Him is service.
This might seem obvious, however, the Gospel accounts of healing suggest that this response was fairly rare, perhaps occurring on only two other occasions (Mark 5:8-20, John 9). Indeed, right after this miracle Jesus goes on to heal many who lived in that region (Mark 1:32-45), and one of those who were healed was so happy that he immediately disobeyed Jesus’ command to not tell anyone. In other words, the healed often focused on their healing rather than on The Healer.
As it was in Jesus’ time, it is still true today: when Jesus works a miracle in our lives, we often get caught up in the opportunity the miracle presents for us to fulfill our own plans for our life, rather than focusing on the opportunity it provides to serve Jesus more than before.
Too often we have seen someone who prays (and asks the church to pray) for God to give them a job. Then, when that job appears, it becomes an obstacle for service, rather than an asset for service. There are also some we know who have been healed miraculously, yet outwardly they don’t appear any more dedicated to serving God after their healing than before.
However, let us apply this lesson more personally. If we have each experienced Jesus working in our lives, then we must ask ourselves: “Did/Do we respond to our experience of Jesus with service?”
It is easy for us to fall into a rut where we see God as ‘Mr. Fix-It’; where we call on Him to remove problems from our lives so that we can accomplish the goals we had set for ourselves. Rather, we should call on God to remove problems from our lives so that we can accomplish the goals He has set for us. For example: when we are sick, we shouldn’t just pray for healing so that we can be healthy, instead we should pray for healing so that we can serve God. For what use is life unless it is lived in service to our Master?
So, instead of, “Help/Heal me so that I can be!” let us cry, “Help/Heal me so that I can be of service!”