That’s the title of a video I found as I was committing random acts of Googling related to the subject of healing and comforting.
The speaker in the video, Rev. Steve Cioccolanti, offers several recommendations based on his statistical analysis of incidents of healings in the New Testament. Rev. Cioccolanti notes that 72% of those healed in the New Testament are healed by their own intiative, compared to only 28% of individuals who were sitting around minding their own business at the time Jesus healed them.
On the basis of his statistical analysis, Rev. Cioccolanti recommends:
- Be the squeaky wheel. Quiet Christians don’t get much.
- Worship exuberantly and exhibit visible faith (e.g., get your hands up and your mouth open)
Rev. Cioccolanti contrasts this high percentage approach with those who “sit and wait” and believe that if God intends to heal them he will do so sovereignly, regardless of any action or attitude on their part. Says Cioccolanti:
Now if my chances are less than 30% that that’s going to succeed, I don’t like those chances. I’m going to put myself in the other camp, where the chances are very high.
So what’s the problem here? After all, Rev. Cioccolanti has statistics on his side.
Rev. Cioccolanti omits Option C, which is a better fit for the data.
If Option A (the 72% option) is being squeaky, and Option B (the 28% option) is being silent, then Option C (the 100% option) is being steadfastly committed to the belief that God is always and actively good.
It would be puzzling if a belief in the unassailable goodness of God drove us to silent suffering in the face of illness (why would we be silent if we knew God was good and has welcomed us to approach him about anything?). It would be equally puzzling if an unshakable belief in God’s goodness prompted us to think that any amount of arm raising or mouth opening could make him any gooder than he already is by nature.
Should we pray for God to heal us when we are sick? Without a doubt.
Should we believe that whether we are healed or not God is actively doing good to us? Absolutely. Nothing–not even the persistence of illness in our bodies–ought to cause us to question the proactive, comprehensive, grace-drenched goodness of God.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…
While our finger shook at him accusingly. While our mouths called down curses on him.
God blesses us at every moment. We open our mouths and raise our hands not to increase our chances of receiving a blessing but rather because we know every blessing is already ours in Christ and always will be.