I was at a Dare to Be event with some of my closest friends.
I was hearing Natalie Grant sing live for the first time. If you haven’t… stop what you’re doing, and find a way to get to her next concert. She is seriously one of the most amazing vocalists I’ve ever heard. It’s ridiculous what comes out of her when she sings. It was a great night! I was loving it. A night out with my kids, with a bunch of women… What else could I ask for?
And then she shared her story. How she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had surgery. She was told she may never be able to sing again. And here she was, less than a year later, blowing my mind with the power behind her voice.
She shared about the healing power and the goodness of God. People cheered.
And I didn’t want to hear it. I was straight up mad. Good for you, Natalie, but guess what? I didn’t see this kind of healing the way I had believed. My dad passed away on Thanksgiving. Why are you here and he’s not?
In my head I knew what was true. I knew that God was sovereign, that His will was perfect and that if we’re honest, my dad is in the most perfect place that all of us hope to be someday. But without knowing it, I had thrown myself into believing that God worked through equations. If I prayed enough, if I had enough faith, if I did it all right, then it would equal physical healing.
In fact, more people in my life suddenly were being overtaken by suffering and I just couldn’t even fathom how God could really be all that He promised to be.
Months later, I continue to journey with this whole idea. This word. This miraculous and completely mysterious thing that God continues to do today. But if He always can, why doesn’t He?
I can’t answer that question for you or for me. I’m left here to put action to my faith that I really do trust that His ways are best – the ways that are so insanely backwards to the world that we live in. That death actually equals life in God’s kingdom. But here is what He’s begun to show me, and I pray He speaks into you:
Healing is not something God does. It’s who He is.
The Hebrew word for this is Jehova-Rapha. “The Lord who Heals.”
God is interested in so much more than healing our physical bodies. He wants to heal our minds, our hearts, our attitudes, our brokenness. The places where we’ve harbored hurt or bitterness. The wounds other people have given us.
What I found in my own life is that my lens got so small, I was suddenly unable to see the other ways God was continuing to prove Himself as healer. In my heart and mind.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
I had forgotten that it matters that God heals our intangible wounds. We tend to give more praise and bring more attention to the things we can see. Because we have proof. It’s so much easier to trust when it’s physical.
I didn’t really think that I was angry at God. I was angry at Natalie, you know? But to be honest, she didn’t have a choice in God’s perfect will. But I didn’t think it was right for me to be mad at God because… He’s God! I knew His ways are perfect and I trusted Him, but I just wrap my head around this one.
In his book “Anger”, Gary Chapman has an entire chapter dedicated to when we are angry at God. He says this about God : “…He is touched by the feelings of pain that I experience and interprets even my anger as an expression of my love for Him. After all, why would I be angry if I did not believe that He loved me and would look out for my interests?”
Have you struggled to believe God all the way – even here? What is holding you back from just laying it all out in front of Him – the good, the bad, the ugly? He may not answer all of your questions. Your prayers may not be answered the way you want.
But if God Himself is Healer, then we’ll never experience any of it unless we’re close to Him. So whatever it takes, just get close. If you have to yell and scream, do it. He knows how you feel anyway. If you have no words, just sit. He wants to be with you.
Natalie Grant and I have made up in my mind. I love her and want to be her a little bit when I grow up. I have no answers about how and why our miraculous God works the way that He does. And if you are suffering or grieving, I am just so sorry. I’m there with you. You aren’t alone.
But you have got to ask yourself if you believe God is who He says He is. All of it. He either is or He isn’t. He can either get you through this, or He can’t. He either heals, or He doesn’t. And my prayer is that through our brokenness, we seek Him and find that He is, He can, and He does.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18