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God Is My Healer
Chapter taken from " The Very Heart of Worship"
Written By Cypress Ministries

I am the LORD your God who heals you.
~Ex. 15:26~

   In this look at another name for God, some might be thinking that I am going to talk about physical healing. And though I very much do believe that God can and does heal us physically, what I would like to look at in this study is how God heals us emotionally and spiritually.  

   By the time God took the Israelites to the entrance of the Promised Land, they had been out in the desert for some time. You see, the Israelites needed time with God first. He had things He wanted to teach them and they needed to be prepared. God needed time to give them new insight as to who He was and to change their perspective and show them how to follow Him and live according to His ways- before entering the Promise Land. Basically, He needed time to clean them up and heal them mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

   God does the same thing to us, and for us. Unfortunately, sometimes this can be painful. As God disciplines us, it can hurt. But so can healing. The problem is that often the person that is going through first, discipline, and then, healing, can’t tell the difference. It’s easy to get confused and not be able to tell which is which or to determine which part you are going through at a particular time. I know that many times I have had to stop and ask, “Okay, God, are You disciplining me for something or are You healing something in me? Because all I know is this HURTS.”

   I try to think of the whole “cleansing and healing process” as if I am removing a really deep thorn in my hand. Sometimes you have to dig it out first. And surely there are enough of you out there that know what I am talking about. (Read Ezekiel 36:25-28 when you have some quiet time.)

   When our oldest son was in about the third grade, he slid on some rocks at school and hit a stone bench cutting his head open and requiring stitches. However, by the time I got him to the emergency center, he couldn’t walk. The doctor pulled my son’s pant leg up and he had managed to turn his knee into hamburger meat! The place on his head took three stitches but his knee took a lot more, plus a butterfly bandage on top of the kneecap. Yet before they could even start sewing his knee up, they had to scrub it with something that looked like a toothbrush. Talk about hurting! But it was necessary to clean it out first. And that is exactly what God does to us.

   Turn to Second Cor. 7:10, which says, “The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and live. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.” It goes on to talk about how sorrow caused by worldly things will lead to death, but godly sorrow leads us to want to change our lives. Another verse that describes this process is in Isa. 30:20: “The LORD has given you sorrow and hurt like the bread and water you ate every day. He is your teacher, he will not continue to hide from you but you will see your teacher with your own eyes.” Sometimes the only way to get our attention and teach us is to allow us to go through times of suffering.

   However, God says if He allows the hurt, or even causes the pain, absolute good will come from it, and He will heal us. (See Isa. 30:26) One of my favorite verses is Isa. 65:9: “‘In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the LORD. ‘If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,’ says the LORD.”

  When I was a little girl, if I got in trouble my mother would send me to my room. This was no big deal for me because I could spend hours in there reading, and when the time was over and I could come out, I would stay. I can tell you that whatever my mother might have been hoping to gain or teach me was completely lost on me because I didn’t mind being in there.  That is until my mother caught on.

   So, what she would do was to come in my room before shutting to door and remove all my books. Then I felt the punishment! I can remember one time she came in and took every drawer out of my dressers and dumped everything that was in them right in the middle of the floor, everything came out from underneath my bed and everything out of my closet, all into the middle of my room on the floor. Then she told me I couldn’t come out until my room was clean.

   Now, my mother IS NOT a horrible person, nor is she mean-spirited. Also, I would like to just say that I love my mother very much. Whenever I bring up this incident at family gatherings, it always turns into a very comical conversation because my brothers will try to top it by saying, “Oh, yeah? Well I remember when I had to….” The problem is that neither my mother nor I can remember what I did to get in so much trouble.  I just remember that she did it! She will even chuckle and admit, “Yep, I really did.”  But, my room got cleaned up and reorganized plus I got rid of a lot of junk. So, all ends well.

   The reason I bring this up is because thanks to this lesson my mother gave me it has helped me to understand and see that from a spiritual viewpoint God does the same thing in us if we will just let Him. When we finally quit fighting with Him and say, “Here I am, cleanse me,” He will clean house and get rid of all the “junk.”

   When I first came to God as an adult and really surrendered my life to God, I can tell you He came in and cleaned house. I can tell you, layer after layer, He scrubbed and cleaned. But boy, let me tell you, it feels so much better after it’s been done. Early in my walk with God, I kept imagining a particular house. I could close my eyes and just picture the living room. It had beautiful hardwood floors and big tall windows that were open so I could see crystal blue skies through them. Crisp clean white sheets just billowed out from the breeze coming through the open window. It was clean and immaculate with no furniture. It was wonderful and waiting for someone to move into.  Let me tell you, so often I would close my eyes and pray, “Oh, God, please, let me live there. Show me where this house is so I can move there.” 

   After months of what felt like a major construction crew working inside me, suddenly the hammering, cutting, sawing, and drilling that never seemed to quit all just stopped. Sometimes I would look at people and want to ask, “Can’t you hear all that?” It was so weird. I could be talking to a friend and visiting with her but inside of me it sounded and felt like a demolition crew was working. But then one day, it ceased. All that was left was quietness and a peacefulness I had never really experienced before. After awhile I realized that the house I had been picturing, the big beautiful, clean, clutter-free house, WAS ME. God was cleaning me up, so HE COULD LIVE THERE.

   Second Cor. 1:8-9 says, “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the trouble we suffered in Asia. We had great burdens there that were beyond our own strength. We even gave up hope of living. Truly, in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God, who raises people from the dead.”  Friend, let me tell you, I’ve been there! The burdens in the soul that feel like you will die from heartache are ones I have endured. But, I can also attest to the fact that God really can and does restore you to life. I truly believe this is so we will learn to trust in Him instead of ourselves. I also believe that if you are really independent and strong willed then the only way sometimes God can reach you is to let you get to a point of complete hopelessness. 

   God cannot fill you up with Him if you are to full of yourself. We have to learn what John taught us in John 3:30, “He must become greater, and I must become less important.” But somewhere along the way, we have healing.

   Here is one last thought before closing this chapter. We have a chain link fence and up on the fence is a big beautiful grapevine. This vine covers the whole fence. It has almost become a privacy fence because the grapevine has grown out so much. But there is one thing missing: there are no grapes. This vine has grown wild for so long in all directions that it has covered the fence. I have to tell you, it’s really pretty, with lots of foliage.

   But it isn’t producing what it is supposed to. The whole purpose of a grapevine is to grow grapes. This one is not. So, if I want it to start doing what a grapevine is intended to do, I am going to have to go and cut some of it down. I am going to have to remove some of the unnecessary branches, clean up some of the limbs, and reposition some of the other limbs so the vine will start growing in the right direction. But why would I do that?  Because I can’t have it both ways: I can’t have a vine-covered privacy fence and grapes. I am going to have to choose one or the other.

   If you picture yourself as the grapevine growing wild, you can imagine God saying, “I can’t have it both ways. I can’t let you continue to grow wild and cover the fence if you are to fulfill your purpose and produce what you are intended and all I have planned. So I am going to have to go and trim you up.” Now the first time I was faced with this, my reaction was, “WHAT?!” and “Isn’t that going to HURT?!” I finally resigned myself to this when God kept insisting, “I have to.” 

   What’s funny though, is whenever I go through seasons of pruning now, I voluntarily raise my branches! I have learned that, yes, it smarts a little bit, but the end results are so worth it. Also, I have learned that God is a good and loving God and He will only take as long as He absolutely has to and not a second more. Plus, if I don’t struggle against Him, it won’t hurt nearly as bad, and I don’t wind up prolonging the process.

Turn to John 15:1-2: “I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.” Verses 1-11 would be something good to read the next time you are having your quiet time with God. Ask God to show you where you may have dead or unnecessary branches in your life that are not from Him and that need to be removed. As He reveals them to you, pray for courage and strength to lift them up to Him so that you can be freed and healed of anything hindering you from producing the fruit that was intended for you.

   Something I would like for us to remember in parting is that God will not do anything that He Himself has not already been willing to do. First Peter 2:24 says, “Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right. And you are healed because of his wounds.” (Emphasis mine.)

    God, thank You that You love us enough to cleanse us and heal us. Thank You for the new heart and spirit that You put in each of us. Lord God, we praise You and thank You that You take the time to minister to us and make us whole again. Father God, I pray that if this reader has any places in them that need healing, that they will lift themselves up to You and feel Your loving hand upon them.
In Christ Jesus’ name I pray,
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