Ever heard that phrase “It’ll get worse before it gets better”? What kind of hope is that suppose to inspire, anyway? I mean really?!
But…let’s give it a good look. There might be a spiritual truth hidden in here somewhere. My brother’s recent experience comes to mind…
My 10 yr old brother got bit in the face by a big dog. After we calmed him down (which took an hour), we took him to the ER to determine if he would need stitches. Sure enough ….he did. By the time he got into the exam room, he was so calm, it seemed like he had forgotten about his affliction. But when he heard he would need stitches, he got nervous and asked if it would hurt. Not having the heart to freak him out, we told him it was a piece of cake and they might spray stuff over the wound to numb it first. (I’m sure God will forgive me for not telling him what I knew was coming).
Thank God he couldn’t see the needle coming because when they put the needle in the open wound, he started howling.
It wasn’t the blood or needle that made me nauseous; it was his distress: he was in genuine torment, shedding tears of real, deep pain like he had never experienced.
But it passed quickly and soon the tears were gone and 12 stitches were in place. With a smile he actually proclaimed, “That wasn’t so bad.” He was so brave and I was so proud.
I don’t know about you, but if I knew that needle was coming, I would have been off that table and out the door. I don’t know that I would have been as graceful and brave as that little boy. But because of that experience, it helps me understand that sometimes there is a reason God doesn’t tell us what’s about to happen.
It also helps me understand what needs to take place in the healing process: trust. My little brother endured a needle in an open wound…and that’s no walk in the park. Why? Because he trusted that the doctor was going to help him. He cried that it hurt but he didn’t run.
Do we show that kind of trust to the Great Physician when He touches our wounds? Or do we cover them and run? Maybe, you’ve trusted God by letting Him exam the wound, even allowed Him to diagnose you but when He put the needle in so He could work on it, the pain was too much and you checked out.
I want to encourage you that it’s okay. The pain will pass. And if you’ve run from surgery in the past, God isn’t mad. He’s waiting for you to trust Him with the deepest hurts you have. How do I know?
1. I’ve been there: done that: DOING that. I’m healing emotionally from painful and deep wounds and there has been a few times that I’ve jumped off the exam table and ran from God, unwilling to endure the pain of the past. There have also been times I’ve endured and…it wasn’t so bad. In fact, the reward and healing…was worth it.
2. We are made in His image. And in the moment of my brother’s pain, it broke me to hear him cry. I comforted him through it but I wanted to relieve his pain. But, even when his eyes pleaded for me to make it stop, I knew I couldn’t: it was for the better.
Isn’t that a picture of God our father? Even when we look at Him, pleading, feeling betrayed that He would ask us to endure such intense pain and we even question how this could be LOVE?! The truth is, it breaks His heart too. He feels the pain as deeply as you do. The truth is, He’s there to comfort you, hold your hand through it all and help you endure for the better.
When we know God is asking us to endure something we associate as uncomfortable and sometimes, down right painful, be encouraged: Father knows best. The Great Physician is implementing a care plan for the long term. It may feel like it’s getting worse, but TRUST Him. Endure. Stick in there and let Him stitch you up. He always fulfills His promises and His promise is that it WILL get better.