Thursday, May 30 2024 - 8:16 AM
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Healing in Progress

Before I had a major surgery several months ago, the surgeon gave me a list of restrictions for my healing process. This included no lifting or moving anything more than five pounds for up to 12 weeks. No cleaning house, raking, sweeping, mowing, bed making, for at least 10 weeks, and all for the best chances of a good recovery. I had muscles that needed to mend, and stitches that needed to hold certain tissues together. Then I was told not to lift more than 15 pounds for the rest of my life. So many adjustments.

Especially during the first several weeks at home, I learned to ask for help. I was blessed with friends and family who brought their strength and resources to me. Later I got to the point that I could walk a couple of miles, enjoying simple exercise. And I was doing quite well when I decided to take my grandson to play miniature golf about 10 weeks into my recovery. On the 13th hole my golf ball went out of bounds and as I pivoted to retrieve it, my left foot turned under me and I fell down. In uncertain pain (did I break a bone?), we cut short our game and headed home. I was very frustrated that I had added another layer of needed healing to my time line for maximum freedom and enjoyment of life!

Upon examination by a physician a few days later, the good news was “just a sprain.” I was surprised at the assortment of sore muscles in both legs, tight neck and shoulders, and colorful bruises on my foot and one hand. I already knew some of the treatments to help my injured foot—elevation and icing was a challenge for everyday life.

Trusting In His Healing

The body is an amazingly connected structure with inherent powers to heal given the best conditions. However, healing takes time, good nutrition, ample rest, possible medical intervention, along with a required dose of patience on the part of a patient. As one ages, it can take more effort to achieve healing due to loss of vital strength and fitness. Comparisons with others for healing can be discouraging since humans are very individual in the impact and expressions of living in a sin-damaged world.

The topic of healing came up during our last Christian fellowship meeting. One of our members shared how she believed that years before God had answered her prayers and healed her addiction to cigarettes—overnight. And more recently she had prayed for release from her need for coffee—again with victory from cravings overnight! While I was happy for her increased health and vitality, I was aware that others in our group had long struggles with frustrating addictions and problems that did not disappear after years of prayers. It’s so easy to get angry with God or to blame oneself and lack of faith after hearing about positively answered prayers.

We have ample evidence in scripture that while on earth, Jesus Christ frequently healed many people of physical, spiritual, and emotional diseases. He loved to offer people release from the grips of sin in all its manifestations.* I believe He is the God of wholeness and restoration. But we rarely see miracle cures in our age and culture. We are left to wonder how and why God sometimes chooses to step into our time frame and limitations to provide divine injections of his powers. And then we might ask, how is our definition of  “healing” different from God’s definition?

Individually Experienced Healing

I believe that the whole-person healing that Jesus offers us is individually experienced. The physical, spiritual and emotional bodily connections are complex. As we trust in God, he promises to supply us with new “heart” intentions and desires (Ezekial 36:26-27; Romans 12:2; Colossians 1:21-23, 3:1-3). Yet we still exist in sinful environments, social structures, and the cascading effects of generations of sin damage, let alone personal choice consequences. This calls for much patience with the process of healing, while adjusting lifestyle and spiritual/mental nourishment. We can also benefit from the strength and gifts of others who are in the process of healing (Ecclesiastes 4:12; 2 Corinthians 1: 3-6; Hebrews 10: 24-25).

If God would have shown me all of my “damages” on some kind of cosmic x-ray, I am sure I would have been overwhelmed with the time frame for healing! I did not expect that surgery would suddenly fix everything wrong in my body. I did not expect the swelling on my foot to disappear overnight—my body has plenty of healing to do. On many personal levels I can appreciate and accept the concept of “substantial healing”** (not perfection) while I live in a world of sin infection. Whether it’s 12 weeks, 12 years, or a lifetime, I choose to trust my Creator/Physician for the process of ultimate healing.

See samples of Jesus healing in Matthew 9: 1-8, 27-34;15: 21-28; 20:29-34; Luke 4:38-40; 8:40-56; 9: 37-43; 13:10-17; 22: 47-51; John 21: 25.

**substantial healing vs. perfect, from author Francis Schaeffer in True Spirituality, chapters 10-13.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

  1. What could you say to the person who is jealous of those who claim “overnight” healings?
  2. What seems to be the most challenging for you—spiritual or physical recovery?

Karen Spruill writes from Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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