Having worked in the medical field, I know a surgeon needs to use many and varied instruments in order to successfully operate on patients. Each instrument must be perfectly clean otherwise the risk of infection or death is present. The surgeon likes his instruments set out ready for use, knowing that each time an incision is made to start the surgery; he has a sharp scalpel or knife that will perform a clean cut under the bright lights, a steady hand and his ability. Each instrument must be reliable, functional, in good repair and do the task it was designed to do without fail.
According to Wikipedia, medical and surgical instruments are “specially designed tools or devices for performing specific actions of carrying out desired effects during a surgery or operation”. You may have heard of clamps, forceps, suction tips, scissors, injection needles, retractors and so forth, especially if you have been present during the birth of a baby in the hospital. The list of instruments is so vast and varied it is a topic that would probably astound most.
We can be human instruments
As a young girl I remember specifically looking at my mother while sitting next to her, having thoughts of healing towards her, but not knowing what to do during the time she was dying of cancer. As a medical professional I have always been very interested in all the accounts of healing contained within the Bible. I can think of nothing more satisfying and incredibly humbling than to have access to the healing power available through Christ and the Father, to be able to look at or touch someone and tell them to arise and walk like the account given in Acts 3:1-10 of the lame man healed when Peter and John spoke to him.
Indeed I have prayed many times for the healing of others like this, but have come to realize that the healing we are involved with as God’s people has a great deal to do with prayers, fasting, kind thoughts and words and physical acts of agape love (a Greek word that denotes unselfish or Christ-like love) towards brethren and neighbors. God the Father and His son Jesus Christ are the Master Healers and we are His instruments to do with as He so pleases (Philippians 2:13). It takes great faith on our part to believe in Them as our healers and that They are capable of using us as Their instruments to heal.
We know that God is doing a mighty work (Ephesians 3:20) within each and every one of us and it is extremely exciting, humbling and beautiful to know that we are having our hearts and minds shaped by God, to the exactness and completeness of our Father and Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48). We look to our Father and older Brother as perfect examples of how we desire and need to be, hopefully on a daily basis. If we are truly repentant and remain close to God through ongoing, effective communication, we can be assured that God will continue to work with us until we are His perfect instruments (Philippians 1:6) and then we will be able to be His instruments for healing (Romans 6:13).
Perfect human instruments must have a malleable heart – one which is capable of being shaped, changed and transformed. We can read about this in Psalm 51 where King David is offering up a prayer of repentance to God after recognizing his sins.; David beseeches God to “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (verse 10) and acknowledges that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart” (verse 17).
In contrast, a hardened heart is one which is stone-like and not ready to change (think Pharaoh in Exodus 7-11 and the nine plagues before the final and tenth plague). It can be difficult to know sometimes that one’s heart is becoming hardened unless we endeavor to stay close to our Father through daily prayer and ongoing communication, seeking His will for us and to do His will (Proverbs 3:5-8), reading His word to exercise our senses to His way and then following through by demonstrating one of the attributes of a merciful God, by the healing of others through prayers, fasting and physical acts of service to those who are Sick.
We can provide a source for healing by sincere, kind words (Proverbs 16:24), visiting loved ones, visiting others we know in jail, sending thoughts and feelings in a card or letter to those far away or isolated, and providing basic needs of water, food, shelter, clothing and other physical necessities of life (Matthew 25:34-36). For those not aware of spiritual resources that are offered by the church, we can also provide much needed spiritual nourishment in the form of a Bible, information on Beyond Today programs on TV, the Internet, or in a discussion about spiritual matters when asked. Informing others, when asked, about the hope we have within us is incredibly inspiring and healing to both individuals (1 Peter 3:15).
Relaxing in God’s hands to provide the healing that is needed
As one of God’s instruments, we need to be able to allow God to work with us. He has a firm grip. He is perfection. He will not drop us or break us (Psalm 78:72). He knows exactly how much pressure we can take (1 Corinthians 10:13). He will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and He tells His children that He can use us if we humbly submit to His power and authority working in us.
The world is full of hate, envy, greed, malice, and every foul thing that can have a negative effect on our health. We know this world is passing away and it is under the sway of the wicked one known as Satan (1 John 5:19). And so we continue to live in the world but not be entangled it, so that we might become those effective instruments of healing as our Father and His son decide. They are the healers, we are just their instruments, to be used to help others come to be healed spiritually and physically as determined by the will of God.
As human instruments under the expert guidance of our loving Father, let’s all choose to increase our ability and desire to help heal others in whatever forms our God may decide to direct us and use us as we submit to His work in us.
To learn more about how to have the wisdom and strength to be healing instruments of God, sharpen your character by reading the Bible study aid Tools for Spiritual Growth.