“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction,” Psalm 107:20 (ESV).
Several years ago, my daughter and son were playing in my mother’s yard. All seemed right with the world except for one little thing. My son had a rather huge stick and was swinging it. My mother kept telling him to stop swinging the stick when he was close to people because he would hurt someone. He did not listen and as a result, he accidentally hit my daughter right above her upper lip leaving a huge, deep gash.
My mother called me and told me what had happened. I rushed to her house to get my daughter and then sped to our local ER. Of course, stitches were inevitable. It was amazing to me how physically strong my daughter became as the stitches were being sown to close her wound. She had been put in a jacket before the procedure began, but she was still fighting the process. Why would she fight what was best for her? She did not understand that what was painful for the moment was going to bring healing to her wound.
I have heard people say (and I have said it myself), “God will heal me when He is ready or when the timing is right.” This is absolutely true and it is right to say this; however, we must be careful that we are not using these words as an excuse to delay the painful part of the healing.
What?! Can healing be painful? While the ultimate goal of healing is to restore something, the process can be painful. If a wound is deep enough, it needs serious attention. I am not saying that healing has to be excruciating, but there are parts of the process that are going to become uncomfortable.
It is uncomfortable to face truth because we have to face what put us in a wounded position to begin with. God is not trying to devastate you when He causes you to face truth. His purpose is complete restoration.
My struggle has always been emotional eating. I have been blessed with many helpful resources such as Thin Within and Barb Raveling’s book Freedom From Emotional Eating. These resources have been used by God to help me face the source of my problem. Yes, bad habits have to be broken, but the source of those bad habits needs to be addressed at some point, or I will fall back into my bad habits. I have received a number of wounds from other people. While I am not excusing the behavior of those who wound, I am not helping myself by holding on to the wound and refusing to allow the Lord to bind it. Part of Isaiah 61:1 says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” Binding can bring pain but it can also be soothing.
If you are an emotional eater, or you soothe your emotions in some other destructive manner, you have to allow God to bring some emotional healing. Otherwise, you will go on in this manner. Emotional pain can come from a variety of different wounds inflicted, and while it is great to admit we are in need of healing, it is awesome to go on to the next step of allowing God to begin the process as uncomfortable as parts of it might be.
The scripture at the beginning says that He sent His word to heal us. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If He sends His word to heal us then part of the healing can hurt just has my daughter felt discomfort as the doctor stitched her wound.
As my daughter tried to rebel against a painful part of her healing process, I do the same as far as my emotional pain is concerned. Often that pain is the fault of someone else just as my daughter’s wound was inflicted by my son. No matter the source of our emotional wounds, we must allow the Great Physician to stitch and seal these wounds with His love and His word. When that happens, we will be whole and be able to rise above emotional eating.
How about you? Have you been emotionally wounded by someone? Is there an area in your life that you refuse to allow God to access? Are you ready to begin the process of healing?