Have you ever been broken, in body or in soul, and prayed earnestly for healing and not received the answer you hoped for? This past year could have been named “the year of the scalpel” because God removed so much from my life that just needed to be removed for my own good. Halfway through the year, I was absolutely worn out from trying too hard with certain relationships and to manage my health, but to no avail. Brothers and sisters around the world and I prayed for healing for that wonderful instant healing that God can bring. The healing that is so quick and so complete that we can forget about the pain altogether. But rather, God responded with, "I have a better plan."
If you are looking for a comprehensive study on healing, this is not that article. This is my story of how God brought deep, powerful healing during one of the most painful moments in my life. Having spoken with people afterward, I’ve come to realize that many people are going through the same thing.
This led me to write and shed some hope, that during those dark days, God is at work often in unexpected ways.
I’ve had multiple colon disorders for years now and had grown used to the special diets, the hospital stays, the pain and all that is associated with it, and so I was surprised when last July my doctor said that I needed surgery as soon as possible. I had grown used to living with disease, and now I was at a critical point where the only option was to “cut it out.” It all happened so quickly and so painfully slow as well. I had to wait months until I was well enough to handle surgery, and during that time, everyone I knew prayed for healing. Complete, immediate healing.
The day came, and I had to go through with surgery. I remember laying in the hospital bed after eight hours in surgical suite, surprised at the size of the incision that spread across my abdomen and wondered how things would go now. Alone, in this sterile environment, far from everyone who fills my busy life, I prayed, “Lord, what is going on? This is a waste of time. I have things to do!” And in reality, my soul was whispering in a dejected tone, “You could have healed me.” I’ll never forget when He spoke so gently to my heart, “This is the sacred place I chose to heal you. I want you to sit in this quiet place, unable to move for a little while.”
The problem with healing is the pain, right?
Pain associated with the healing is congruent with the pain of the wound. And your broken body or soul becomes unmistakably vulnerable.
It is humbling, even humiliating to go through, but God can do such a beautiful work in that time of healing.
I looked to the Word to see exactly what God has to say about healing. We know that Jesus heals; He spent so much of His time on earth healing, but what about me, right now? In my silent, sterile pain? When I looked it up, the Word was a comfort to my soul.
There are verses such as Luke 9:11, “But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.” The Greek words used in just this verse are Therapeia1 and Iaomai. Therapeía: "attendance" (especially, medical, i.e. cure); figuratively and collectively, "domestics:—healing, household." And iaomai is "to cure, heal to make whole to free from errors and sins, to bring about one's salvation." Which, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary and Strong’s Concordance, is where we get "therapeutics" and "therapy." I needed both, and the Lord provided both; I’ll get into that later.
Then in verses such as Jeremiah 33:6, “Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” In Hebrew, ărûwkâh2 means in the sense of "restoring to soundness; wholeness" (literally or figuratively):—"health, made up, perfected." I also needed that divine touch that only our Maker can bring.
Therapeutics, therapy, soundness, wholeness, health… being revealed in the abundance of peace and truth. That is what we need when we are broken; this is what I desperately needed! A divine touch from our Savior.
As I laid in that hospital bed, I did a lot of meditating on the Lord and on the healing process, both on the emotional healing that had happened that summer, and what was currently happening in physical healing. Both require an incredible amount of trust in the Lord to reknit broken people back together.
Both need truth to be infused into a confusing situation. A good friend reminded me that the enemy is the author of confusion as God is the author of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). We need honest people to come around and remind us what the truth is about what our true condition is. We need honest, kind words, words from God’s own heart. To be around people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who truly love you. Sleep is also essential to let the body and mind heal.
As we listen to the people that God puts into our lives to carry us through this trauma, we heal a little bit every day.
God does this great work. But, we need to let God put people into our lives, the right people. When I was at my worst, God sent people from all across the world who had no idea what was going on, to minister to me. God did that. He sent in spiritual first responders to come in and bandage me up. But, I had to open the door and let them in. I had to listen to those first responders that He sent, and I had to put it into practice.
He reminds us to shed off that bitterness that would be so easy to give into because sometimes life is really hard, and we end up wounded. That is why we have to go through a healing process, right? But the pain of life doesn’t change the fact that you are loved by God. Beware, because those wounds of life cannot get infected by bitterness; they must be bandaged and then let alone. If we keep them tightly bound up in bitterness, they will never heal; and we will suffer because of it. The people or situation that caused this suffering will not be affected, but we will.
And I realized that as I let God send people in to help - there is this knitting of bonds that develops, that could not have developed otherwise; it is the Body of Christ in action. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to accept help until the time came, and it was an eye-opener. People stepped out of the woodwork to do kind things, and it brought tears to my eyes on many occasions. God used His children to speak love and good works into my family and the church’s life, when I couldn’t do what needed to be done.
So, as He walked me through incredible physical and broken-hearted pain, I started to see healing differently.
It is a God-given time that He ordains in order for us to be our best and to minister to us. During those moments, He gives us what we need to heal from the true wound. He has my back, and He has your back. Let the healing process begin, and embrace it, though it be painful; and it may take longer than we wish. God knows what we need to be fully restored, and who better to reknit each one of us than the one who knit you together in the first place.
Let’s be on our look out for the blessings that God has put in our lives to help us walk through these days, especially through the difficult days. He never tempts us beyond what we can handle, and when that scalpel is doing its work, know that those things are causing harm, and that is why God has to remove them. He loves you enough to remove the things from your life that aren’t good, and He will heal you after surgery. It won’t be easy, but it will be worthwhile.