This week in my small group we studied the name Jehovah-rapha, The Lord Who Heals. This has not been an in-depth study of just this name, but all the names of Jesus (Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur). This week just happened to be Jehovah-rapha. Except nothing just happens to be. I am loosing my presupposition that there are things that just happen to be with God's children. I have been in need of some serious healing for some time now. He knew this. He came to me this week, the Great Physician.
As is likely common in everyone's life, a time of hurt seems to have arrived for me, in various forms. Not one thing is happening to cause this, but what seems an overwhelming avalanche of pain is seeming to surround me and pin me down. I've had an attitude of "suck it up" and tried to deal with it on my own. After all, I figure, it could be worse. And it could be worse. A whole lot worse. So many of these painful issues are not happening directly to me, but I am in the ripples. I could be in the bullseye. So I put my bandaid on and my strong facade.
I hate pulling bandages off. It hurts. I am a wimp, and I still have to ask my husband to do it for me, usually. If he is not available, I take a hot shower to help steam it off! Or I just leave it on an unnaturally long time. This is not a good thing for the actual injury.
I have done this with my heart. I have not brought my hurt to the One who Heals, but thought I wouldn't bother Him with my petty hurts. I covered it up. It began to need to be addressed. It was beginning to fester. It needed air.
I read a blog post by Beth Moore from August 10 and I realized that I hadn't been real with God about what I was doing with my heart. In my quest to keep the God of the Universe from being too busy with trivial things of mine (sarcasm), I had begun to push my pain under the carpet so it wouldn't be seen or dealt with. God already knows what's under there, but I needed to confess it and bring it out into the light. I needed this reminder from Beth that I can be completely raw before my Lord. Even if it is the most unGodly sounding rawness, it needs to come out. My wounds needed to be exposed and washed out before a real infection set in.
I set before the Lord this week, and in tears, I told Him what I thought about how He was letting things go around here. I told Him how much I hated it. I told Him how much I hurt from others' actions and they didn't even get it. I told Him how unfair it was. I told Him lots of things. Then my husband walked in, bless his heart!
In His infinite mercy and compassion, God did not send a bolt of lightning or leprosy or snakes or any other thing to tell me He is God and who am I?! Instead He listened to me. He empathized with me. He reminded me that He felt these very things, (well, maybe not exactly) but He knew how it felt to be unjustly hurt and watch others hurt unjustly. He knew the difficulty of taking the high road (the highest, in fact) when manipulated. He knows it all.
He has also heard it all. I felt like the Israelites in the desert complaining of yet another perceived lack, when they had the visible presence of God traveling before them in the cloud, with manna from heaven on a daily basis. I have the presence of God living inside me with the Gospel at my fingertips at any given moment and direct access to speak to Him. And yet my first instinct is to try and heal myself. I have reached the bitter waters at Marah, and yet God has given the tree to make it sweet. He hung on it Himself. All I have to do now is let His healing waters cleanse my wounds and keep it open to Him to heal.
Malachi 4:2a But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for Thou art my praise.
Yes, Jesus, I will keep my heart open to you, all of it, so You can keep it clean and heal me by the blood of Your wounds.