Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Process and Product

In the recent weeks I've found myself thinking about healing...our 12 year old daughter, Joy, is walking through her first injury. She suffered a high ankle sprain and was just recently given the green light to set aside her crutches. (Well at least indoors on level ground.) At the same time our month old nephew, Gideon, is walking through more in his first weeks than most of us do in a lifetime. Meconium aspiration led to his first helicopter ride and 5 heart defects have led to 2 surgeries. We have found ourselves praying much, and often, for healing here on the Beran farm.

We are commanded to pray, but prayer is about more than the final result. I'm learning God often gives us insight while we pray and He builds our relationship as well. The other day as I thanked God for the healing work He's done in Joy's leg and asked Him to reveal more of His healing power in Gideon's little heart, a few words came to mind - wait, work, wisdom coupled with patience, pain and physician.

As these words floated through my mind, I was reminded healing is a process. It involves waiting (patience), work (pain) and wisdom (Physician). This was enough to get my mind going and I realized healing isn't just about the process, it's also about the product. Healing brings results - wellness, a witness and the ability to walk alongside.

Friend, I don't know if you are in need of physical healing like we are here in Iowa, but chances are you might need emotional, relational or spiritual healing. If so, I pray this insight, and especially these verses, speak to your heart. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body." 

My daughter quickly learned healing doesn't happen overnight. At her first appointment, the Dr. predicted she'd need crutches for a week and I think she thought - 7 days will pass and life will return to normal. Not quite...it's been 3+ weeks and she's starting to walk, but a ways from running up and down the court. She has had to wait and it's tested her patience. The same and more could be said for lil Gideon and his parents. This waiting time involves steps forward and steps back, wonderful success and unexpected setbacks, but our patience will be rewarded.

Isaiah 40:31 tells us, "But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Friend, we can have a plan and expectations, doctors can give their diagnosis, but only God knows the future. While we wait for healing, we must trust the One who knows and is able to heal.

This process also includes work - my daughter is doing rehab and Gideon's nurses are working and watching around the clock. Sometimes the work also includes pain...Joy's had to learn the difference between good pain and bad and develop the attitude the most important work happens when nobody is watching. Friend, the same is probably true for whatever healing you need. Have a broken relationship? You will have to do the work of forgiveness and reconciliation. Struggle with a strong holding sin? It will require the work of confession and repentance. If we want healing we must remember and apply Proverbs 13:4 - "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."

Finally, in order for this process to fully unfold we need wisdom and when it comes to healing that comes from the Great Physician. Proverbs 2:6 says, "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." We are grateful for the wisdom of doctors, nurses and therapists, but friend we ALL need the wisdom of the Lord. No matter what healing you need, I encourage you to apply James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you."

There is something special about the product that comes with this process - we don't have to arrive and wait for the journey to be over - the results happen as the process unfolds. Most obviously the process of healing brings wellness. We need and pray for healing because we want to get better, we desire wellness. Little by little this happens...as Joy found healing is gradual and the same is true for relational, emotional and spiritual injuries. In Luke 17:9 we see this - "Jesus said to him, 'Rise and go, your faith has made you well."

Another product of the healing process is our witness for Christ. I tend to be a person who likes to figure things out, I appreciate understanding why and want to find the answer. That's a great philosophy when it comes to algebra, but it's much harder to apply to life and faith. The other day as I wrestled through some of this thinking in regards to lil Gideon Jesus' words in John 9 came to mind. Here we find Him and the disciples meeting up with a man who'd been blind since birth and the disciples, like me and maybe you, found themselves thinking why, why did this happen. Jesus' response brings perspective - "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." (John 9:3)

Friend, as you and me walk through hard times and seek healing the world is watching. They see our attitude, our worries and our faith. God never said following Him would be easy; actually Jesus assured us in this world we will have troubles. Sometimes those hard times are consequences of our sin and others they are a result of God's sovereignty - regardless of the why, let us not forget the what - God can use them for His glory.

Finally, a product of our healing process is the ability to walk alongside another. When we walk through something we are better able to understand and relate to someone else who is doing the same. I'm already seeing this in my daughter - the other day we were watching college ball and a guy on the opposing team was shown on the bench in pain. My other daughter quickly and with little compassion says, "What's wrong with him?" Joy instantly responded, "I know just how he feels."

Joy will forever see injured athletes differently...she's walked in those shoes and felt the pain. This injury will make her a better teammate, not just on the court, but in the game of life. Stop for a minute and think about the healing work God's done in your life, has He used it to help someone else? 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

Again, I don't know what you are walking through, but I pray God met you here today and encourages your heart as you walk through the process of healing and look forward to the products. I appreciate your prayers for Gideon - he had another unexpected discovery yesterday and more healing is needed. If you'd like more details, you can visit his CaringBridge page HERE.

Friend, you often hear from me, but I'd love to hear from you - is there something I left out when you think about the process and product? Have you had a healing journey you can share that would encourage those in the midst of the battle? What verse do you cling to while you wait for healing to come? Are you in need of healing and need prayers? Share in the comments - we can lift one another up, be encouraged and glorify our great God.

2 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful teaching on the complete work of healing from beginning to end. Love the process and product. What we seek is wellness. It may be physical, but oftentimes it's emotional and spiritual. That kind is harder to recognize, but so very important. Thank you, Jill.

    Blessings,

    Wendy

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