This spring/summer has been a string of woes. We lost a dog and a cat; Laura had all 4 wisdom teeth removed; I had a wretched case of poison ivy with blisters bigger than peas; my husband was violently ill on the day we were scheduled to depart for a much anticipated, much needed, family weekend away; and he had surgery–not related to his being ill. Besides what was going on in our house, prayer requests came in for other people I know and care about. Seems a lot of people are currently on a woe-filled ride.
It was while I was wondering if the poison in my body would ever cease and desist, and the fire and need to scratch would ever end, that I cried and poured my rampage out in my journal. I had prayed. I prayed for myself. I prayed for others. I tried petitioning, proclamations, and praise–I tried until my trier was broke.
Healing is still somewhat of an enigma to me. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve studied it too much. I don’t approach God with child-like faith near often enough. Instead, I go armed with the teachings and experiences of others and their “formulas” and expect it to “work”. When it doesn’t, I am crushed and fall into unbelief. I know God heals. I know Jesus paid a horrific price and took every disease known to mankind upon Him. I know satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy and that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly.
But during these times, when the suffering sets me on the precipice of breaking, I wonder if God truly loves me. The reality of His love is too often like a butterfly to me, flitting here and there, instead of the immovable cornerstone it is meant to be. Mostly, these insecurities arise when those I love or myself am facing physical crises.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:9-11 NLT
There’s the crux of it all. I’m led to believe that my Father will do better for me than I can do for my own children. Where are the good gifts–the salvation, deliverance, provision, healing, miracles– they’re already paid for. Where are they? When they don’t come quickly, the frantic want begins and the frenzied application of formulas ensues. Nothing changes. Nothing happens. I must have misunderstood. I must have done something wrong. Let me try something else. I try until my trier’s broke and I have no more strength to seek. Why bother anyway? He doesn’t answer, at least not quickly. Life seems to run its natural course and goes on until the next crisis occurs. How sad it would be if I remained in this place. But I will not. I can not. Why? Because God does love me, immeasurably, eternally, recklessly.
Another scripture came to mind:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 NLT
Some time ago the LORD told me that He made me tough, not hard. There’s a vast difference. I must guard against being hard on myself, not loving myself, because it spills onto others. And part of being hard on myself is thinking if I’ve not done everything “right” I am not worthy of healing (or other God-benefits). How silly! Jesus already purchased that gift for me. I’m no more healed 10 minutes from now than I was 2000 years ago when Jesus paid for it.
Encouragement can also be found in Matthew.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
It’s worth repeating.
That scripture went over me like salve. Then came a God-thought too wonderful for the human mind to create on its own.
Rachel’s birthday was fast approaching. As I had this journal time of contemplation and Holy Spirit applied God’s Word, He deposited the most wonderful thought: Rachel doesn’t have to try to receive birthday gifts. Some of her gifts had been purchased a couple of months prior, and all of them had been wrapped for weeks; she didn’t have to try to receive gifts. She simply had them, all tucked away, waiting for the appropriate time, her birthday.
Remember the man who had been blind from birth? The disciples wanted to know who sinned, him or his parents. But Jesus said,
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3 NLT
The miracle was available, but it was for a set time, when God would receive the most glory.
These thoughts bring peace to my weary soul. I can’t say I’m totally done with formulas and trying to receive what God has for me, old habits and thought processes are hard to break. But I expect to do a lot less and receive a lot more as I rest and realize that I don’t have to try to obtain what Jesus already bought for me. I already have it. It’s wrapped and will be given in His time.
Join me today in resting in His Word, leaning into His love, and confidently waiting for our appointed day. Rest, Beloved, just rest. His Word will all be fulfilled in due time.
Hope you enjoy this song by Mercy Me. It’s how I felt when the LORD told me that I don’t have to try--it’s already been done.