Sunday, March 29, 2015

Healed vs. Healthy

I am grateful that I am at a place personally where I can look back at the past few years and view them through the lens of God's Word. There have been so many days, weeks, and even months that doing that seemed either hard or impossible. So I am grateful that God has renewed me in this way. This does not mean that I have been "healed," as if my struggle with a hard heart, selfishness, pride, depression, addiction, or other sins is somehow over and done with these things forever. There have been plenty of times I have prayed for that kind of "healing," hoping that my struggles would simply end never to return. But I've come to see that God isn't in the business of giving us instant, complete freedom from our sin. Instead, He's in the business of giving us gradual, partial purification from our sin. So as long as I am in this world I will struggle with those sins that are unique challenges for me. But God has, for today, given me a reprieve from some of the more severe ways I have struggled. I am not "healed," but I am "healthy."

A rough analogy for this is my cancer. I will never really be "healed" from cancer. I am very "healthy" in terms of my cancer; in fact, it's been nearly four years since I finished my treatments. But my cancer could come back at any time, and statistically speaking, the chances of that happening are significant. And so I have to take preventative cancer medicine every day, visit my oncologist regularly, and be sure to watch for certain physical warning signs of a relapse. In the same way, I need to take preventative measures against my sin as well. I need to be reading and meditating on God's Word, in relationships with other people, trusting in God's will and not my own, and in prayer. I cannot be "healed" by those things, but they can help me be "healthy."

God has given me joy in this day of my journey, and for today my eyes are fixed on Him. He has given me daily sufficient grace. That is ultimately the result of God's work in me, but it has also come through a lot of personal effort and many prayers that God would work in my heart.

As you may know, music has always been a big part of my life. It often helps me connect my emotions with my thoughts. As I have written these posts, I have often been reminded of songs and lyrics that have encouraged me in specific ways. The song I included below is a song I have listened to many times in the past year. It is a helpful reminder that I will ALWAYS be in need of God's grace, and he will never fail to give it. As the chorus says, I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down? And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?" And You answer: "My child, I love you. And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace."