I have recently had conversations with a few different people and they’ve all expressed to me that the healing process is an impatient one. They’ve let me know that they wish they could fast-forward to the part where they are whole and the best version of themselves. I empathize so greatly with that feeling it moves me to tears. There have been many trials in my life where I’ve clung tightly to that very thought. Then Jesus reminds me that He used metaphors like Gardener and Potter for the Father for a reason.
Healing is a process. Physical healing is normally the easiest to be patient for, excluding some cases, because although you might be held back by broken bones, illness or pain, you can typically see the progress with your own eyes. It’s rare that you regress. But spiritual and emotional healing, that’s where the impatience can grow. That’s where our faith is forged in fire.
A few years ago, during a very, very low valley season in my life, I was struggling with a lot of intense anxiety about certain things going on at the time and had long forgotten what peace felt like. Without going into too much detail, every day felt like I was imprisoned by fear. One night I cried out to the Father, I remember just being able to say under my breath, “I just don’t want this anymore. Please take this burden from me, I can’t live like this anymore.”
Once I’d surrendered to Him, once I’d moved my focus from my fear to Him, the healing began, and it was slow. Some days felt better, others it felt like I’d been climbing a mountain and doing SO great, and then I’d slip on a loose rock and go back to where I’d started. Sometimes the idea of a life where I didn’t daily have to fight past my fears and doubts and could just wake up happy and at peace seemed utterly impossible, and I’d forget that my hope was in God, the Maker of heaven and earth and I’d mourn for a version of myself I thought I’d never be able to achieve. Some days it felt like maybe those good days were an anomaly and He hadn’t heard my prayer at all.
But little by little, I began to realize that I was changing. Days that I stumbled didn’t seem so severe because my hope began to grow, and it occurred to me that He was replacing my fear and worry and sadness with joy and my faith in Him and His ability to remain victorious over fear, something He’d long since defeated, was becoming unshakable. I was being shaped and molded. My heart, cracked and gnarled by the world, was being repaired. I was being made fit for a life and a purpose and a Kingdom that I’d been created for.
I remember one day not long after I realized that, during my prayer time, that I just thanked God. “Lord, it’s such a joy to be healed by you. It’s such a lovely journey to walk with you, this healing another gift from you that I’ve done nothing to deserve.” What a personal God we serve, what a good, good Father we have. Healing is unique to each of us and then furthermore, to each of our ailments and situations. It’s something He spends time on in His great love. It’s another benefit we reap from the cross. It’s an honor to be made into a vessel holy, useful, and ready for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (ESV). 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
In the trials, in the thick of the healing, it will be difficult to remember these things. It will be difficult on the toughest days to keep the faith, to hold on to the hope we have in Christ, but I encourage you to try anyway. Even if you don’t feel it, even if you don’t quite believe it, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of being healed, hold tight to what is true.
In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis writes, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”