There is no formula for healing.
What I mean is that there is no “step one, step two, step three” process for getting back to “normal” when you’re going through a difficult time.
As a person who naturally likes to be in control of her own life, this was a particularly tough lesson for me to learn. To be honest, being in control and following a step-by-step process that has a guaranteed outcome is something I love. Perhaps that’s why I love to bake. Perhaps that’s why I feel so secure in a salaried job. Perhaps that’s why I actually miss being in school.
But life is not like baking a batch of muffins. Life is not like mixing a list of ingredients, popping them in the oven at 350 degrees and knowing you’ll get 24 sweet, fluffy, satisfying end results.
Life is not like a steady job. Life is not like putting in your 40 hours each week and receiving a deposit of the same amount in your bank account every other Friday.
And life is not like an English exam. Life is not like reading a book, answering the study guide questions and memorizing all of the important characters so you can ace the test.
Whenever I find myself in a difficult circumstance, my first instinct–almost like a reflex–is to try and figure out how to fix it: What can I do to end this difficulty? How can I make sure everything will be okay? So when I found myself facing a tough situation (one of many times), I said to a dear friend, “I just wish there was some way I could make this all go away, or at least fast forward to six months from now so I can go back to normal.”
But there is no formula.
But there IS a God–one who beckons us not only to trust Him but also to rejoice in ALL circumstances. Recognizing that and acting on it is where I believe the healing begins. After all, trusting God and rejoicing in troubles are two themes we see all throughout scripture:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:16-18
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of many kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
If you find yourself in a difficult season today, I encourage you to lay your stresses, your anxieties, your hurts and your fears before the Lord. Cry if you have to. And as you wipe your tears to face the day, remember that God will never forsake you (Deut. 31:6). Also remember that God has a plan in all of this (Jer. 29:11).
And friends, remember that the healing doesn’t usually happen overnight. It takes time. And to be honest, I have never liked the saying, “time heals.” Because time alone doesn’t heal our hearts; God heals our hearts. But I believe He heals in His own timing–a timing that is best for His children because it teaches us perseverance and builds our faith (see James 1:2-4 above), and it ultimately draws us closer to Him.
So trust Him with your hurts today. Fill up with the word and preach it to yourself, 3×5 notecards and all. Please be sure to include this one on your index cards…
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4