Hurting Before Healing

by Joanna Pierce on September 19, 2018

I remember the day I sat in the doctor’s office, letting the words of my physician digest somewhere in my brain. She was telling me I needed to be cut open and my insides ripped out. This would provide only but a chance of healing. She honestly didn’t know if it would be a cure.

After seven years of hurting, adding a painful surgery and long recovery period on top of it wasn’t a sign-up sheet I was eager to place my signature on. My mind was screaming, “I’m in pain, and you want to cause more pain. How does that make any sense?”

I had been preparing for that conversation for some time, but with the wrong side of my brain. I was thinking with the logical portion; it was ready. But, the heart side, the emotional portion, was definitely not.

I knew God was—and is—a healer. I believed that He could heal me in a moment’s notice. Nothing is too hard for Him. I had the faith, He had the power; the end result should have been a miracle in my mind. But, God chose to send me on a painful journey. May I stress this was His will and not mine?

And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them (Isaiah 19:21–22, KJV).

In this setting of Scripture, Egypt (always a type of the world) is about to experience God’s wrath. They were an idolatrous nation, hard taskmasters, self-righteous, foolish, and happy leading a Godless life.

In short, they were messed up, but God wasn’t willing to leave them there. He was on the cusp of ushering in change, but the transformation would be wrought with much pain and anguish. He would strike Egypt, but then He would bring healing.

When we’re in a painful situation and cry out to God, we have our own calculations as to how He’s going to enact healing. However, God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Our pathway to recovery looks entirely different than God’s rocky road to restoration.

I wanted immediately to be pain-free. Unlike Egypt, I already felt pain. I didn’t want to experience any more before I was healed. But, sometimes it has to hurt before we can be healed. In my case, I had to hurt more before I experienced healing.

God isn’t about band aids, patch jobs, or temporary solutions. When He works, He’s going to get to the root of the problem and take care of it once and for all. Like the potter who has to crush the clay to start anew, sometimes we have to be crushed down further—even when we’re already broken—to be resurrected complete, whole, and stronger than before.

I’ve learned many times that God isn’t always going to make me feel good in smaller increments before I’m healed. But, I have to trust Him that no matter the journey, in the end He will heal me.

If God’s opened a door for you to walk down a path that looks worse than what you’re on today, let me encourage you to trust Him. You need to let Him order your steps because that road, while painful, could be the shortest distance to your healing. Just remember, it might have to hurt before you can be healed.