When I cut my finger, I desperately search for that box of bandages. I usually locate the box, but more times than not, it’s EMPTY! So I grab anything I can find and tend to my hurt with something that will stop the bleeding, protect it from getting infected and help it heal. Of course, I know that the bandage doesn’t really ‘heal’ me. The natural processes that occur within my body do the healing.
In a similar way, when we have emotional ‘cuts,’ we also tend to run for the bandages. Or in some cases, we look for a tourniquet! The problem is, those emotional bandages don’t really ‘heal’ either. They do provide some temporary protection, but they also cover up the wound. Exposing the wound, (at the right time and in a safe environment, that is) is a crucial part of the healing. You can’t keep it concealed forever.
Here’s an example. A girlfriend of mine finds out her husband has had an affair. She is devastated and deeply wounded. She feels excruciating emotional pain. She doesn’t want to tell even her closest friends or family that her marriage is struggling because she’s embarrassed or ashamed. Or maybe, her heart is so full of bitterness that she decides a divorce is what she wants, and she doesn’t want anyone to talk her out of it or tell her it’s the wrong decision. So, she privately deals with it while putting on her ‘happy face’ in public. It’s very difficult to deal with this kind of deep betrayal. Who could possibly understand it unless you’ve gone through it yourself? I get that. But please read on.
It is true that time can be a healer. But it doesn’t guarantee true, deep healing. Memories of pain, if left unhealed, will continue to hurt us. Sometimes they even seem worse as the years go on. But time can also be a vital part of the healing process. Rarely is anything healed instantly. It’s a process. But we need to cooperate with it and not keep ‘picking the scab.’ It will be tender and itchy as it clots. Let the healing process go through what it must.
Each one of us can choose the mending method, but it does not mean every method has equal effectiveness.
So, what should my dear friend do? Who and what can really truly heal her broken heart from an injury like this?
There is really only One that can heal our deep hurts. And His Name is Jehovah-Rapha-, which means, ‘the God that heals.’ And what does He use to heal us? The balm of Gilead. Let’s read what His Word has to say about this.
(Jeremiah 8:14-22, from The Message translation):
So why are we sitting here, doing nothing?
Let’s get organized.
Let’s go to the big city
and at least die fighting.
We’ve gotten God’s ultimatum:
We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t—
damned because of our sin against him.
We hoped things would turn out for the best,
but it didn’t happen that way.
We were waiting around for healing—
and terror showed up!
From Dan at the northern borders
we hear the hooves of horses,
Horses galloping, horses neighing.
The ground shudders and quakes.
They’re going to swallow up the whole country.
Towns and people alike—fodder for war.
“‘What’s more, I’m dispatching
poisonous snakes among you,
Snakes that can’t be charmed,
snakes that will bite you and kill you.’”
I drown in grief.
Oh, listen! Please listen! It’s the cry of my dear people
reverberating through the country.
Is God no longer in Zion?
Has the King gone away?
Can you tell me why they flaunt their plaything-gods,
their silly, imported no-gods before me?
The crops are in, the summer is over,
but for us nothing’s changed.
We’re still waiting to be rescued.
For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken.
I weep, seized by grief.
Are there no healing ointments in Gilead?
Isn’t there a doctor in the house?
So why can’t something be done
to heal and save my dear, dear people?
Asking if there is no healing balm in Gilead or a ‘doctor in the house’ are rhetorical questions. The author knew the answers. The balm and doctor are available, but they aren’t being applied! How often do we have the healing power right there in front of us, yet we refuse to use it?
This was eye-opening to me. I many times think I can heal myself. Then, as I see my method not working, I finally surrender and decide to submit my oozing and infected wound to the Father. Why do I allow the wound to get worse? Pride. Every time. And the hard question to ask is, “Can I see that God may have actually sent, or at least allowed, this disease or injury to test me?” We don’t like to think that God sends bad things. But I guess we need to carefully define what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad.’ The bad things, from a fleshly perspective, may actually be good, if they refine us spiritually and draw us to the Father. Though we would never ‘pray for cancer’, we know that through the battle, we are renewed inwardly and forever changed. We are told to look through ‘spiritual eyes,’ not with our temporal eyes. This tests and grows our faith.
Sticking with The Message translation, here’s what Hebrews 11:1-2 says about faith:
‘The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.’
Now, how does faith effect our healing? It allows us to trust the Doctor to diagnose our problem and follow through with His instructions to heal us. He will give you the strength and courage to do it. His instructions and prescription are of no use to us if we choose to just stare at it or throw it in the trash. There’s a little work to be done. If we could confidently believe in our hearts that His healing is really a ‘slam dunk,’ we will take the necessary steps to bring it to fruition, right? Well, what if I told you that the cure for your ailment is already revealed and available for you? Would you accept it?
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
‘But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.’
Jesus is the key to our healing! Forgiveness is a crucial part of the healing- offering it to those we have wounded and accepting it from those that have hurt us. We all are called to forgive, just as we have also been forgiven through Jesus. He empowers us with what we need to be healed. Remember, he already purchased the only lasting healing that cures our brokenness!
God bless you today as you yield to Him with all your hurts.
“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.’