- Pastor Rolf Woodard
Day 11, January 17 - To Be Healed and Reconciled
Psalm 107:20: He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalm 147:3: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Malachi 4:6: He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.
The Bible teaches in Matthew 4:1, “Jesus was led up by the (Holy) Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” It was God the Holy Spirit that placed Jesus in that desert for that particular time. There are no mistakes in God’s plan. There is no plan B. We only know His complete plan for our lives as we look backward. A.W. Tozer said, “To the child of God, there is no such thing as an accident. Accidents may indeed appear to befall him and misfortune stalk his way; but these evils will be so in appearance only and will seem evil only because we cannot read the secret script of God’s hidden providence.”
Our whole perspective of life changes when we find ourselves facing overwhelming temptation, tragedy, or any hard situation that needs real healing or reconciliation. Robert Morris writes this happened to a Pastor friend of his. The Pastor’s son and daughter-in-law, upon graduating from Bible school in Arlington, Texas, with a great ministry to the Mexican people before them, encountered some problems that provoked the son to think God did not really care for him, so he decided to quit the ministry. He was determined to separate himself from God. He stopped praying and reading scripture and instead began drinking and staying out at night, etc. But on his way to inform the missions director of his decision, the son came around a curve, just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana and a tractor trailer, trying to avoid hitting a deer as it crossed the highway, plowed into his car, causing him to go to the hospital. Now he really believed God did not love Him. But during the next six months, God brought him back to good health, but most importantly reconciled him back to Himself.
I have been there; we all have been there in one sense or another. The Lord occasionally does the same with all of us, testing our faith, leading us into hardship, teaching us wisdom, showing us His ways, changing our course on this journey called life, calling us back to Himself—in the process healing us spiritually and sometimes physically. Our first reaction is usually anger, panic, and a sense of ‘why is this happening to me if you love me so much, Lord?’ But remember that deeper secret of the Christian life: “When we are in a difficult place, the Lord has placed us there, for reasons known for now only to Himself.”
The writer, Mackintosh, in referring to the Israelites leaving Egypt comments, “the sea was before them, Pharaoh’s army behind them, and mountains around them. And in all this, be it observed, permitted and ordered of God.” We are where we are today because God permitted it. As someone has said, “Nothing gets to the child of God unless it passes through His Hands first.”
Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control can push us off the thin wire we walk on in this thing called life. It could be the ringing of a phone, a knock on the door, a text, an email. We fall immediately into worry and fear that separates us from God, from our friends, our spouses, etc. How can we not worry or fear when our outflow exceeds our income, when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, when layoffs happen at the company and our name is on the list, when our child is hurt or even killed, or our spouse wants to walk out. What is our hope? Where do we look for guidance in times like that?
We must pray to the One who has control over everything. We must ask Him to do what only He can do. And, we must consult the Scriptures for guidance and hope. Remember these men and women:
Hagar, a single mom, was forced into a desert with her boy where they nearly died of thirst.
Joseph, desiring to be used of God, was seized, stripped, sold, and imprisoned in Egypt.
David, anointed by Samuel, was pursued by Saul’s army. Most of the Lord’s disciples, who followed the Lord’s command to evangelize the world, died horrible deaths.
The Lord Himself, fulfilling the Father’s will, was nailed on a cross until dead.
Peter wrote in I Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. . .” In other words, we should not be surprised when we find ourselves trapped in painful, frightening, difficult, or impossible situations. As a matter of fact, these things are to be expected in this venture of following Christ.
If we are in a time of trial, He is here. Remember we are here 1) By God’s ordering, 2) In His grip, 3) Under His training, 4) For His time. But over and above that, our precious eternal Lord is here--He is the One who has promised never to leave or forsake us, never to forget or abandon us. So if we find ourselves in a difficult spot of needing healing and reconciliation, against all evidence to the contrary, there’s no better place to be.
Real Healing and Reconciliation occur when we recognize we are exactly where God wants us to be.
Are you in a difficult place right now?
How can you allow God to bring healing and reconciliation in His way and in His timing? Ask Him to give you spiritual eyes to see where He is working.
Father God, You know everything about me. You know the challenges and hope that I have. I pray that You would guide my prayers, thoughts, and actions. I pray that You would give me spiritual eyes to see You in my life and give me the desire and ability to respond in a way that pleases You. Teach me what You want me to learn and help me to grow closer to You each day.