September 13, 2009

It is Better to Be Healed Than to Be Well

Anyone who knows me personally knows that my dogs are the greatest contributors to my daily happiness. What is better than an ever present, unwavering, unconditional love packaged in a snuggly body with a soft coat, endearing eyes, a wagging tail, and a bouncing prance? It has been said that every human heart has a “God-shaped” void which can only be filled by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Well I also feel that each person has a “dog-shaped” void inside himself. After all, who doesn’t need a faithful friend, a warm touch, and an eager greeting on a regular basis from someone who doesn’t care how bad your hair looks or how many pounds you gained last month? Once wed to the bond of dog ownership very few choose to return to a life without it.

Therefore, it is easy to imagine how devastated I was by the malignant cancer diagnosis I received about my five year old dog Macy in April of 2007. Macy first underwent tumor removal surgery with a 95% success rate only to have a reoccurrence of the tumor six months later. By October of that year I still had Macy, but Macy had one less leg to stand on following amputation.

It only took two weeks for Macy to recover. She was quickly running, jumping and catching rabbits again. The traumatic experience cost her two weeks of pain and cost me two years of anxiety. The doctor warned me that the genetics which caused her original tumor could potentially cause another one. This news onset a paranoia which I couldn’t shake. Every day I grieved the eventual loss of my precious pup until I opened my heart and my home to a second dog. My new addition, Pearl, has now become as much a part of my home as is Macy. You could say that I traded Macy’s leg for Pearl because I would never have looked for canine love elsewhere had Macy not gotten sick. I now have a double portion of joy. It is better that Macy is healed than had she always been well.

This is true for Christians too. Consider all the things that God has healed in you. Has He put your criminal past behind you? Has He made you whole following an abortion? Has he restored your peace after a divorce or other life-shattering trauma? The Great Physician is the ultimate healer. It is human for us to regret our past wounds and poor decisions, but when we lay our baggage down at the cross, healing descends and supernatural change begins. That transformation begins a ripple effect of growth, wisdom and character which ignites the believer’s faith and commitment.

For the redeemed soul,
it is better to be healed than to be well.

For where is the profit in being well if that healthy body and healthy mind is doomed to hell?

Job 9:21 (KJV) reads,

“Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.”

This scripture conveys that perfection is miserable because it prohibits an awareness of the human soul. Adam and Eve were perfect before their fall. They took their face to face relationship with God for granted. Their perfection bred ignorance and their ignorance bred disobedience and you know what happened after that. If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done in their shoes the answer is – exactly the same thing – because you too would have been perfectly miserable and looking for more.

It is better that a believer was once imperfect because then your need for God is undeniable. You cry out for healing because your past haunts you and you are impotent to heal yourself.

“He himself [Jesus] bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” I Peter 2:24

Jesus came to heal so who are we to deny Him that opportunity by resenting our wounds, the very things that expose us to His help? A disrespectable past is simply a place for Jesus to interrupt and establish new life.

“When Jesus heard it, he said unto them, ‘They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’.” Mark 2:17

The list of healings throughout the Bible is long. There are the ten lepers, the demon-possessed man, Lazarus, and Jairus’ daughter. These encounters make their way into our understanding of God because Jesus brought about happy endings. The glory of God was revealed! Embrace the redemption process so that the glory of God may be revealed in you likewise.

“... he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)

“… these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)

Anything from which you have been forgiven softens your heart to love to a greater degree than had that experience never occurred. And per God’s Word, nothing is greater than the love His forgiveness produces, therefore, there is no place for shame in being once dead in sin and now alive in Christ.

It is better to be healed than to be well. Keep this in mind when taking inventory of your wounds and regrets. If you always were who you strive to become then there would be no room in your heart for Jesus. Receive healing by first ceasing to despise your need for it. Healing is a gift guaranteed to all those who receive Christ.

(Thank you to Joy Allmond for her contribution to this message.)

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