Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sometimes to Heal, You have to Hurt

Struggle, pain, trials, the need for healing.....we all hurt, we all face something. The past few days have been hard for me. I haven't felt well or been myself. I've been in pain, irritable, and tired. The weekend was long and busy, and I just felt like I wasn't keeping up, but I didn't know why. I thought something was wrong...I just didn't know what. Today I had a regular check-up scheduled, I mentioned how I'd been feeling and as it turns out I have an infection. Praying that the meds will work quickly so I can get back to normal. So there ya go...a small struggle with an easy solution. The rest of the visit....not so much.

The doctor wants me to have some tests run by a specialist. It's nothing major or lifethreatening and they don't suspect any big issues that are...immediate. However, the test itself doesn't sound pleasant. The end result, depending on the outcome of the test, is medication or outpatient surgery. Not exactly what I wanted to hear because pain, well it isn't so fun, and I have a condition that sometimes makes healing take longer than what may be considered "normal" for most people.

What I heard on the way home though, helped me. I was listening to The Message on xm radio. They were doing an interview with Tenth Avenue North, one of my favorite Christian groups about their new album The Struggle. The lead singer Mike Donehey was talking about a song on the new album and how the lyric on the bridge of the song was so relevant to him. It just resonated with me. The lyric comes from the book of Hosea.

"Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence" Hosea 6: 1-2

He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us. Jesus is referred to as the Great Physician, but what does a physician do? A trip to the doctor is associated with healing and prevention of illness...but sometimes it hurts. We learn this from infancy on. A vaccination hurts intially, no one enjoys getting a shot, but the protection that small amount of pain provides is worth it in the long run.

What about the bigger things? What about when other more painful treatments are needed? What about surgery, chemo, or the fracture that has to be re-set? All of these treatments are accompanied by pain. To repair a heart, the doctor must first cut you open. There must be some pain, before there can be healing. He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds.

I'm reminded of what the receptionist told me earlier when I expressed my concerns about the test they want to do. She told me that everyone she's talked to has said that while it's not pleasant in the beginning the end result is worth it.

It's the same for us when God allows pain and trials in our lives. So many times we get complacent. Just as we avoid going to the doctor unless we are sick, we don't go to God for the regular checkups we need. We don't seek Him daily, but only when we are hurting or sick or we come up against trials that leave us no choice but to cry out for the Physician. Pain has a way of bringing us back to God like nothing else. Sometimes it's necessary for us to endure a trial, so we can be closer to him. He will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

So what is it that needs treatment in your life? Maybe it's pride that must be cut out, maybe old emotional wounds and factures from the past need to be re-broken so they can heal correctly, maybe you are needing a physical healing. Whatever it is, we can find rest in the fact that Jesus came to heal those hurts. We can trust through the pain we feel, that the end result, will be worth the struggle.

Finally, I want to share the song that inspired this post. It's not been officially released yet so this was the best video I could find.

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