He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5
There he was, lying in the manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Animals surrounded Him. The star shone brightly above Him, pointing the way to the precious Savior of the world. The shepherds and the wise men bowed before Him.
Worship Christ the King!
As they gazed upon that child, who would have thought that precious baby would one day suffer and die. Who would have believed he would be despised and would suffer great pain. Who would have imagined Him hanging on a tree, dying the death of the worst type of criminal.
And who would have imagined He would do it out of His great love for us, His desire to take away our pain and shame. Who would have imagined the great wounds He suffered would be the source of our healing.
Who could have imagined that tiny babe would be the Healer of all wounds?
As you think about the Savior, the Healer of all things, I encourage you to remember these three truths about healing:
Healing is not immediate. I wish I could tell you the minute you call on Him you would experience total and complete healing. I can’t tell you that. Yes, there are times God chooses to pour out His power and change us instantaneously, but more often than not healing is a long arduous process.
Healing is a process, a journey. It’s not an easy journey where we get to plan and prepare for what’s ahead. Instead, it’s like the Israelites flight out of Egypt where they were chased from their comfort zone and forced to flee in the middle of the night. It’s that moment where we stand looking at the Red Sea with the Egyptians closing in behind us. It’s those years where we feel we are hopelessly trapped in the wilderness, knowing the Promised Land is just across the river.
But it is also the place where God splits the Red Sea wide open and allows us to cross on dry land. It’s the place where we see God so clearly guiding us by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It’s that place where we watch God provide manna each day, giving us only what we need as we learn to trust Him to provide for us in every little detail of life. It’s the place where we see God so tenderly care for our every need even as He gently and lovingly shows us the condition of our hearts.
And perhaps the most beautiful part of the journey to healing is that we learn this incredible intimacy with the Father as we get to know His heart of love toward us.
Healing requires a willing heart. Sometimes the pain of this life hardens our hearts. We become angry, bitter, cynical. We find ourselves fighting against God, pushing Him away. We struggle with our faith, maybe even intentionally walk away.
Yet if we desire the true healing of our precious Savior, we must have a willing heart. A heart willing to let God in. A heart willing to take another chance with the faith. A heart willing to be laid bare in front of God. A heart willing to surrender to the precious baby lying in the manger, the One who came to be wounded so we could experience His perfect healing.
Healing requires determination, hard work. It requires self-examination. It requires attention to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It requires opening ourselves up to God and others. It requires complete honesty and vulnerability. We must lie aside the masks that keep us in prison and allow others to see who we are, our strengths and weaknesses alike. We must stop pretending and let the truth, the Truth, penetrate every square inch of our hearts.
Healing requires that we put our hearts on the operating table and allow God to take the scalpel as He does the surgery necessary to repair our hearts and make them pure and whole.
Healing is far greater than you could ever imagine. For years I dreamed about being on the other side, seeing the walls of Jericho crumble in front of me as I crossed over into the Promised Land. I could see it, taste it, feel it. I knew it would be amazing.
But it is far greater than anything I ever imagined!
Healing for me includes the opportunity to touch lives, to reach out through the miracle of the internet and let God use my words to help others. Healing for me is complete peace even as I wait for those I love to experience healing with me. Healing for me is the joy of knowing true love, of having someone who loves me as Christ loves the church, someone who is willing to give himself for me (and my kids). Healing is knowing the pain I experienced was not in vain, that God used it to do a mighty work in me so He can do a mighty work through me. Healing is a vision and a passion to be used by God in even greater ways.
Healing is knowing He brings beauty out of our broken lives.
I know some of you are looking at that tiny baby lying in the manger and wondering how He touches your life today, what impact He has on the pain and the stress you are facing at this holiday season. I encourage you to remember He is the true healer, the One that brings beauty out of your brokenness. Let go. Surrender to Him so He can take you on a journey to healing.
In the book of Hosea, we are reminded that we could never fully grasp the beauty of being healed by the Father unless we also experienced the wounds of this life. One day you will look back in amazement at how far you have come, at the beauty of the healing of the Father. Don’t give up.
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Hosea 6:1-2