We are extraordinary creatures! We are made in His image and knitted together by His hands. How can we not look at ourselves and marvel? The Bible says we are made up of three parts; spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). And these parts are intricately connected with each other, influencing each other in positive and negative ways. 3 John 1:2 says “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” The Greek word for “just as” in this scripture is Kathos and is defined as “according to the manner in which” or “in the degree that.” In effect, John is hinting at a relationship here – bodily health that is being influenced or brought about by soul health and prosperity.
The Bible is full of other interesting examples of this connection between the condition of our spirit, soul and body. Proverbs 17:22 says this about a happy heart, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Conversely, it suggests that emotional sorrow can wreak havoc on our physical health – Psalm 31:10: “For my life is consumed with grief and my years with groaning; my iniquity has drained my strength and my bones are wasting away.”
I’ve found it helpful to keep this perspective in mind when I’m praying with people for healing or counselling someone. Recently, I had the privilege of walking with a brave friend of mine – let’s call her Emily. Emily’s childhood was marked by over a dozen moves. Every time her dad was retrenched or fired they packed up and moved again. Money was tight, and often all they had was ice cubes in the fridge. She recalls times when her mom wouldn’t take her to friends’ parties because she didn’t have shoes to wear, and more painful memories of when the only thing they had to look at in the fridge was a bar of chocolate their dad brought home from his mistress that he forbade them to touch. Her dad left them when she was 18 years old, and from then on she’s had to fend for herself, helping her family financially however she could.
Doctors diagnosed Emily with major depression when she was in her late teens, and two years ago she experienced the onset of Fibromyalgia. Starting in her knees with severe pain and swelling, it has moved to her hands, elbows, shoulders and back. A few weeks ago in one of our counselling sessions, we dealt with the unforgiveness she had been carrying towards her father. She bravely confessed it to her Father God, received His forgiveness and renounced all partnership with it. After praying, we opened our eyes, and I asked her how she felt. She said her legs and knees, in particular, where the fibromyalgia pain had initially appeared, felt hot and very tender, so we prayed over them for healing. I then asked her what she hadn’t been able to do with her legs since the onset of Fibromyalgia. At the time I was kneeling in front of her. She looked at me and said “I haven’t been able to do that. I haven’t been able to kneel in two years because of the stiffness and pain in my legs.” So I encouraged her to get onto the floor and try to kneel. And she did just that. Wow, wow! She could easily kneel now; she had the full range of motion as she came to join me on the floor. From not being able to cross her ankles even while sitting on a chair, here she was compressing her knee joints to the maximum to kneel beside me. And so we stayed there on the floor savouring that moment, kneeling and high-fiving and celebrating God and His goodness towards her.
She’s knelt every day since then and experienced a dramatic turnaround in her condition. I rejoice every time I see her, almost unconsciously, lifting her leg and folding it under her body when we sit chatting in our counselling sessions. The mobility in her legs that has been restored is incredible! There remains some tenderness in her knees from time to time, but in her view it’s minimal, and the pain is negligible too. In those moments we’ve armed her with scripture to declare over her body, and it has always diminished soon after. He is indeed the Great Physician and Counsellor.