The Path to Healing
by Christine Carter
Being a Christian isn’t easy. If that is all I had to say, I wouldn’t be saying much. But God doesn’t leave us to fend for ourselves, and He does not leave us without answers. His word says ‘If you seek me you will find me if you seek me with your whole heart.’ Yes, God is there to be found. He holds the answers to all our struggles.
So why do bad things happen to good people?
This is a question that will never stop being asked. So let’s seek Him for the answers. This is something I asked myself for a long time, because my mother was a devout Christian, saved at a young age, baptized at age 8, and following the Lord throughout her whole life. But she also had many trials. And not just the minor ones, but Divorce, Cancer, Lymphedema that caused her a great deal of pain for a few years before she passed into eternity, and many others.
The hardest thing was to see a Godly, loving mom go through trials that would cause her to cry silently when she thought no one was looking, but when I was a child, I saw this. Things did not get easier for her over time. From the outside looking in, they got continually worse.
But she always had a big smile and love in her heart, the courage to keep on going for as long as she was able to.
In Isaiah 57:1-2 The Message it says,
‘1 Meanwhile, right-living people die and no one gives them a thought. God-fearing people are carted off and no one even notices. The right-living people are out of their misery, they're finally at rest.
2 They lived well and with dignity and now they're finally at peace.’
If you believe what God says in the Bible, then you believe that this isn’t all that there is. In this life, we are just passing through. God has promised us eternity with Him. That we will walk on streets of gold, and: “He will wipe ever tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This is the future for those that believe in the saving power of Jesus, the grace of God. This is God’s promise to us.
So, can we find healing today?
This is a common question. We all have struggles. Jesus said ‘in this world you shall have tribulation’ and ‘After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, strengthen and establish you.’
Is this talking about a few days or a few months of suffering and then God establishes us? The difference between God’s timing and ours can be many years, or even a lifetime. It is true that God has healed many people of many things, sometimes after much prayer, and usually not in a huge spectacle where people receive glory and praise. He removes a struggle or a burden and heals them.
But is it also true that many suffer, including children, without healing until heaven? And as Job was an example, it was not due to sin, but just testing, or the result of living in a fallen world, where there is sickness and disease.
But let’s not stay in a mindset of discouragement.
There are struggles and burdens that we can be healed from this side of heaven.
I believe there are ways that God can heal us now if we seek him. Here are some examples:
· Proverbs 17:22 it says: ‘A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.’
· Ephesians 4:23 says ‘Be renewed in the spirit of your minds,’
God gives us free will and we have a choice to be joyful and to renew our minds. God offers many words of encouragement, and as we release our negative feelings to Him, he can change how we think and feel. We can fill our minds with whatever is true and noble and pure and lovely. God has already given us the power to do this, the power of choice.
· Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’
· Rom. 8:28: ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
God’s purpose is our purpose. Does God want us to live happy and fulfilled lives? Sure. God loves us and wants the best for his children, but his ways are not always our ways, and to fulfill our purpose we must fulfill his.
In Micah 6:8 it says: ‘But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.’ (the Message)
In doing this, we fulfill our purpose.
3. Compassion and Love
· John 13:34 says: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another: as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’
· I Peter 3: 8 ‘Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
One of the best examples of compassion found in the Bible is the Good Samaritan. We all know the story. There was a Jew who was beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. Religious people passed him by, crossing to the other side of the road, but the Samaritan, who Jews hated, had compassion on him. So, he treated his wounds and found him a place to stay and paid for his care until he was well.
We should see those in need and be like the Good Samaritan, providing a helping hand, and showing love. There are people who may be different than you, but in God’s eyes, these are your brothers, and you are called to show them kindness and compassion, never hate.
· Ephesians 4:32 ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.’
· Mark 11:25 ‘And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that you Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.’
Are you harboring resentment? Is there something unjust that has been done to you? Find it in your heart to forgive those that have hurt you. As you forgive others, God will forgive you. That is a promise. Holding bitterness in your heart hurts you the most. You cannot have peace with bitterness in your heart. God has forgotten your sins and has thrown them into the sea and remembers them no more. So, we need to forget them also, if we live in grace.
Micah 7:19 ‘He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our sins under his feet. Yes, you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.’
· John 16:33 says ‘I have told you these things so that in me you might have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.’
· Psalm 12:18 ‘If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.’
We all seek peace in this life, but God can provide us with the peace that passes all understanding. Peace in spite of the struggles we may face daily. God gives us his peace when we let go of our burdens and release them to him. He is with us and can keep us in perfect peace, if we trust in him.
I pray that you will be comforted in knowing that God’s promises are true for you, and the path to healing is possible.
Post script: I wrote this article to remind myself that healing is for me, and there are some things I can control in this life, and let God control the rest.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
About the Author
Christine Carter is a working mom of a 12-year-old active son Marquis and has been married to her best friend Brent Carter for almost 15 years.
She attends Bethel: the Church at Philadelphia Mills, where she has been attending for almost 12 years.
She is currently a Quality Assurance Specialist at Gate 1 Travel in Fort Washington, PA. She resides in Levittown, PA, where she has lived for most of her life.
She is currently attending John Brown University’s online program where she is working on finishing a Psychology Degree which she began at JBU in NW Arkansas in the 1990s. She expects to graduate in May 2021.
She has always enjoyed writing, and poetry has been her method of choice. She believes that if you have a talent or a gift from God, or a desire to be used for His kingdom, He will make a way. You simply need to be willing.
You can read Christine’s Diary of a Prodigal Daughter column on the 3rd Friday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.