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  • Writer's pictureTimothy Blazer

Yahweh Rapha

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

The LORD is my Healer! Every one of God's names and titles is important. But Yahweh Rapha - the LORD Who Heals - has taken on new meaning for me over the past year. Two weeks after returning to Brazil, at the end of January, I contracted an aggressive strain of COVID, which landed me in the hospital a mere 2 days later. While COVID took it's toll on my body over the next weeks, the Lord was working on my heart and strengthening me from within.

I had never before experienced labored breathing to that degree. Sure, I have played various sports over the years and even tried jogging at different times, all of which increased my heart rate and caused me to breath more heavily. But in February of this year, for over two weeks, every single breath was a struggle. Over 80% of my lungs became compromised with COVID related pneumonia. I was on several different types of oxygen treatments, and I was taking more medications through my IV than I could count.

My life is in His hands

Despite all of the medical efforts on my behalf, I came to the clear realization that my life was truly in God's hands. While I knew that fact intellectually, I had never before contemplated my mortality like I did during those days in ICU. For the first few days, even the doctors were not convinced that I would pull through. My labored breathing, due to the severe inflammation in my lungs, caused me to ponder how every single breath and every single beat of our hearts are sustained by God's sovereign hand.

Yes, there were moments of doubt when I questioned why God was allowing me to endure such a dark valley. But each time my mind wandered towards doubt, my faith in God's sovereign care would bring me back to the assurance that He is good and His ways are always perfect.

A Light to my Path

Since I had no cell phone, Bible, or any other reading material, I began to quote Scripture to myself. I was so grateful that the Lord brought to mind so many Scriptures that I had memorized over the years.

  • "The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear." - Psalm 27:1

  • "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me" - Psalm 23

  • "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." - Psalm 46:1

  • "I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live." - Psalm 116:1-2

  • "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." - Psalm 145:18

The recollection of these passages punctuated the following in my mind: God has a sovereign plan. He is perfectly good, and He is ALWAYS faithful. To question these truths is an exercise in futility and hopelessness. I was reminded that God's goodness doesn't depend on my comfort and health. My faith was strengthened because I trusted God fully to bring me through this illness or take me to heaven. Either path would have been a victory.

When God healed the bitter waters at Marah in Exodus 15:26, it was understood by the Israelites that this God who healed the waters is the same God who can heal any impurity, contamination or illness. He is the God whose healing power rises above any disease, whether it be physical or spiritual.

To Live is Christ

My comfort lay in the fact that this is the God who COULD heal me if He so desired. He is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer. But if He chose not to heal me, death would have been a reward. I had truly come to learn that for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

God did indeed heal me and continues to strengthen me daily as I journey through the maze of long-haulers' syndrome. There is a worship song titled, "Great Are You Lord" in which one of the lines states, "Its your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise". Whenever I hear that, I am reminded of Yahweh Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. The Lord who healed my lungs is the same One who day after day fills my lungs with air so that I can sing out HIs praises.

To God Be the Glory!

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