Thursday, July 2, 2015

When healing comes slow.....

We moved to India in time to celebrate a major event in the community that we became part of, the one year celebration of sobriety for one of the women.  It was a huge victory in the life of this particular woman and included congratulations, prayer and cake for 150.  But only a few months later pain overwhelmed again and one night we heard her drunken voice causing a scene, signaling another period of time of relapse before more healing occured and she began her sobriety clock once again.

Freedom usually isn't instant.  It's a process.

This morning I read about Abraham's children finding their freedom from a life of oppression in Egypt.  While God could have instantly caused Pharoah to set them free, it was a process instead.  A process that showed His awesome and mighty power.  A process where the Children of Israel got to see first hand just what He was capable of and experience His care for them.  They had to learn persistance in the process and when they finally left Egypt, the journey had really only just begun.

It can be hard to watch people that we love struggle, it can be hard to struggle ourselves.  We want a quick and easy 'fix,' but the process of developing a holy persistance isn't one to be avoided or rushed.

 "And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,  for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence (other versions say 'shamless persistance, importunity, audacity) he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."  ~Luke 11:5-10

There's something powerful about a faith that just won't quit.  It takes a backbone, it takes action, it takes the courage in the words of Winston Churchill to, "Ne-vah, ne-vah, ne-vah give up."  God invites us to approach Him with this kind of 'audacity.'  While earthly parents grow weary of a nagging child, God wants us to tenaciously cling to and ask of Him---because He's where our real strength, endurance and answers lie.  

"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually."
~Psalms 105:4

There's someone heavy on my heart today who is on a journey towards freedom.  I want complete freedom so much for them, healing from deep, unjust wounds.  God in His mercy is bringing healing, but it's not been an instant process.  It's still miraculous in that wholeness is coming--but it's been a journey of up's and down's along the way.  I know He's been working in their life but I realize now that He's building perseverance in ME through the process as well.  Holy persistance to not give up, to not give into despair, to keep knocking at the door of Heaven today and tomorrow and the day after because deep, enduring healing is coming.  

"...for we walk by faith, not by sight"
~2 Cor. 5:7

And along the way we all get to grow through seeing Him bring victories in the process.  We get to develop audacity and endurance.  Maybe the victory wouldn't mean as much in the long run if it had been instant.  And we certainly wouldn't have had the opportunity to more deeply develop the habit to run to Him, to cling to our vine, and grow more firmly secure in the place where complete wholeness lies.

Photos today by Anita van der Mespel on her recent trip to Ireland.

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