“You have cancer,” announced Dr. Du. Immediately my senses went numb, the room was spinning. As the harsh reality set in, my mind reeled, “Cancer—me? How could that be? There’s no cancer in my family.” I looked across the doctor’s office at my husband, Paul, and said, “This is really bad.” I remembered Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I made a choice that day: to give God more attention than the cancer.
Jehovah-Rapha is the name of God that means “I Am the Lord who Heals.” Trusting in Jehovah-Rapha brings healing to our lives, whether we are suffering physical or emotional ailments. Jehovah-Rapha forgives and heals all of our sins. God restores the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds. “He restores the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds,” says Psalm 147:3.
God revealed Himself as Jehovah-Rapha to Moses during a time of bitterness. The people of Israel had traveled from the Red Sea three days into the wilderness of Shur. There was no water. The people were complaining. Moses prayed and the Lord made the bitter waters of mara sweet. The people drank the water, and their thirst was quenched. Afterward the Lord said, “I the Lord, am your healer” (Exodus 15:26). When we face the bitter trials of life, we have a choice: to complain or to praise God. The only one who can help us in the most intense times of trial and testing is the Lord Who Heals.
The Hebrew phrase, translated “the Lord who heals,” is Jehovah-Rapha and reveals God’s ability to restore, to heal, and to cure. This healing not only comes in the physical sense, but also in the moral and spiritual sense. The Hebrew root verb raphe (to heal) occurs approximately 70 times in the Old Testament.
To trust God for healing means to rely on Him totally. TRUST means Total Reliance Under Stress and Trial. Can God heal? Yes. Will he heal? Yes. He is the Lord, the Great Physician. When we encounter disappointments, difficulties, or devastating disease, we can view them as opportunities to see how He heals. In June 2004, I was given a diagnosis of stage four non-hodgkins lymphoma. There was cancer—a blood cancer—in four places in my body—it was in my bone marrow. It was not only in the lymph node of my lower left eye-lid, but in the bone marrow of my right arm, shoulder, elbow, and the femur of my left leg. We prayed to God for my healing if it was God’s will. During this season of cancer, I studied the healing of the ten lepers in Luke 17. There were ten lepers who asked for healing. All ten were healed, but only one went back and thanked Jesus for that healing. So after six months of chemotherapy and lots of prayer, my oncologist, Dr. Risbud called, “Sheryl, I can’t believe it. There’s no more cancer!” Praise to Jehovah-Rapha, my healer! I was delivered from disease—from stage four cancer!
I want to be like that one leper who went back to Jesus to thank him. I borrowed this prayer of Moses from Psalm 90:12 that says, “Teach me to number my days, that I might present to you a heart of wisdom.” I thank God for delivering me from cancer, for giving my life back to me. It’s actually His life to use for whatever purpose he wills it. I thank God that like that tenth leper who out of the ten who asked Jesus for healing, I got to be that one who went back to thank Him.
Through his son, Jesus, God has provided the final cure for spiritual, physical, and emotional sickness in Jesus Christ. Jehovah-Rapha makes us well through spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. Psalm 30:2 says, “O Lord my God, I cried out to You for help, and You restored my health.” Cry out to Jehovah-Rapha to forgive and heal all of your sins.
God gave us His son, Jesus, to us as the most wonderful gift of courageous healing love we could receive. The encouraging words of John 3:16 tell us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” God gave Jesus to the world as the only way we can have fellowship with God. Through relationship with Jesus Christ, we are healed and whole emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you don’t know Jehovah-Rapha, he’s waiting to meet you. Won’t you pray this prayer today?
Dear Lord Jesus, you are Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. I need your healing in my life. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.