The emergency room wasn’t quite as cold as usual. I had layered-up and brought an extra blanket for my 88-year-old dad. I knew it would be an all-nighter, which turned into two-day-er! But we had to go. One of his medical conditions had reached a critical point and we needed help. Now.
As I sat among the beeping of monitors and nervous waiting of a hospital room, I searched for some insight into God’s good. I saw a common path most seem to travel for healing, no matter what kind of healing is needed.
My dad’s need involved a struggle to breath and what it would take to make that better. But I figure each of us has some kind of wound or struggle; some part of us that hurts, hinders or harms us.
How about you? Where do you struggle?
Relationships? Past abuse? Spiritual injury?
Frailty under the weight of fear and anxiety?
Grieving a loss of love or life?
Or in need of physical healing?
I invite you to consider the pieces and parts I observed as I sat with my dad. If you can see yourself and your journey in them, perhaps this is the good I hoped God would bring.
Realizing There is a Wound
The signs that my dad was struggling were obvious: labored breathing, low blood oxygen levels and feeling drained of energy. These symptoms were making themselves known so we could see there was problem.
And you? What signs and symptoms do you see in your heart, soul or body that show there is a “wound” that needs care and attention?
I’ll admit I tend to brush aside indicators of being overwhelmed, hurt or stressed until I can’t ignore them any longer. Sometimes I’m already gasping for breath, so to speak, before I notice I’m in trouble!
Are there “symptoms” you are discounting or putting off, reasoning away or defying?
In the Bible Jesus often says, “For those who have ear to hear and eyes to see…”
If I am blind to what needs to be healed, that’s when I need to be asking God. And then…listen.
Seek Help in Healing
Like most people, I REALLY don’t like going to the Emergency Room! It is hard on my dad, too, both physically and mentally; but it was late, so we went where we could get help.
In order for us to find the healing, we must seek it.
Some people, after realizing there is a hurt or illness, have difficulty making the next move. For me, it is usually because of fear.
Fear makes us do some strange things: Deny, freeze, hide, dismiss. But if I let fear call the shots, I would sit there, gasping for breath, when there is help to be had.
Years ago, I starting seeing fractures in myself from stress, fear and anxiety. Not knowing where to start, I did the only thing I had enough courage to do, I went to a friend. She had started therapy for similar issues, so we had a very honest conversation. God was there, directing that conversation. That’s where my five-year process of healing began.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Bear with the Healing
Let’s face it, healing is hard. If you have ever grieved a death, struggled with addiction, fought away depression, or recovered from any wounding, you know that healing is no walk in the park. And sadly, there are many who never recover.
God knows it’s hard. That’s why he never asks us to go it alone.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. “
Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Imagine this, the God of the heavens and the stars reaches out, offering you His hand. The same hands that formed the world, that held back the Red Sea and formed you in your mother’s womb are reaching out and whispering, “Do not fear; I will help you.”
Live Like You Are Healed
I’d like to say that my dad walked out of that hospital on his own two legs and danced a jig right out the front doors, but that is not what his healing looks like.
He breathes more easily now. He thinks a little more clearly. He watches the Warriors game with a smile, and I even hear him humming a hymn sometimes. It is enough for today, so I am grateful for that.
I believe that what comes after healing is just as important as the healing itself: Living like we are healed! A person whose broken leg is mended does not stay in bed as if it’s still broken; they may limp at first, but then they walk, run and maybe even a dance eventually!
When the time comes, what would it look like for you to live like you are healed?
Look for what is growing in you or even growing out of you. If needed, recruit a friend to help you recognize new growth. And be gentle with yourself if it comes slowly. God is not in any hurry…even if we are!
I believe the other parts of living like we are healed is intertwined with WHY God brings healing.
“O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for you alone!”
Jeremiah 17:14 (NLT)
This inspires me! God brings restoration to build trust. And while I DO NOT believe God brings wounding or illness, I do believe He uses it to draw us close and show He is on our side.
Just as important, I believe that God heals so that we see Him as the one that deserves our thanks and praise! He doesn’t need our gratitude but does deserve it. He delights in the love of those He loves.
Yes, that is you, dear friends! He loves you. He is for you. And he is with you through every step of your struggle, your mending and living in restoration.
May the God of healing walk this journey with you so that you can dance before him with freedom and thankfulness!