By Femi Aribisala

You are the Lord that health me” is a popular Christian song. However, in singing this song we omit the vital beginning of God’s healing process.

Before the Lord heals us, He wounds us. It is the same God who heals us that wounds us. Therefore, perhaps we need to write another song that says: “You are the Lord that wounds me.”

God takes full responsibility for our wounds. He says: “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39).

If God is not responsible for the sufferings in our lives, then He is not in total control and cannot really be God. But He is God, and there is no other God besides Him.

The challenge then is how can we come to terms with a good God who inflicts pain on people?

Good God

The first question we need to ask is “What is good?” What is good is whatever glorifies God. What is good is whatever brings us into a greater knowledge of the love of God and makes us trust God all the more. Whatever brings us down on our knees to call upon the name of the Lord is good.

Adversity does this very well. Therefore, God created sickness so that we may know that He is our healer. (John 9:3).

So, we must not only thank God when things are going well. We must equally thank Him when things are going badly. Good things are good for us, and bad things are good for us. Heads we win, tails we win. All things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28).

Edifying wounds

 Have you ever intentionally wounded a friend or beloved? You told him something hurtful out of love because you wanted him to deal with it. I had to tell a precious lady that her favourite son who came from London to see her in Lagos had died from an okada accident.

Think about it. You might have to tell your best friend that her boyfriend is a womanizer. Or you stop giving your friend money because you want him to learn to live within his means.

Solomon says: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6). Kisses can be deceptive. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. (Luke 22:48).

Since God is good and always good, then our God-given sufferings must be good for us. For it is not so much that we suffer as that our good God suffers us. Moses testified to Israel:

(God) humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3-4).

Blessing of suffering

Jacob was so scared of meeting his brother, Esau, whose birthright he stole, that he had an all-night vigil with God. When he asked God for a blessing, God blessed him by wounding him. God dislocated his hip.

The blessing lies in the fact that his limp will always remind him of God. That will ensure that his mind stays on God.

“So, rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him.” (Joel 2:13-14).

There is a bullet in my leg, and it forever reminds me of the salvation of God from murderous armed robbers. There is a hole in Jesus’ hands, which testifies to the love He fulsomely expressed by dying for our sins and taking upon Himself the punishment due to us.

Accordingly, “(Jesus) said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:27-28).

Wounds of correction

God wounds us lovingly to correct us:

“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you.” (Job 5:17-19).

If God wounds us and the wound yields no correction in us, He will stop wounding us. He says in Isaiah: Why should you be stricken and punished anymore (since it brings no correction)?” (Isaiah 1:5).

God sent the Israelites into captivity to teach them a lesson because He loves them. As He was sending them to serve in a foreign land, He was also making redemptive promises to them:

“Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.” (Jeremiah 33:6-7).

 Healing wounds

When God wounds, there is healing in the wound. He says of Egypt: “The Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.” (Isaiah 19:22).

When we are wounded, we realise it does not matter that much because we have a God who heals us. This is the God who promises: “I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.” (Jeremiah 30:17).

Wounds are good for us because when we are wounded, we get attention. When we are wounded, God attends to us. I would rather be wounded and attended to than not wounded and not attended to. It is great to see what God does to us in our adversity.

As children, we sometimes pretended to be sick to get our mothers’ attention. That is what happens with God. When we are wounded, He gives us a lot more of Himself. When we are wounded, it is God who nurses us back to health.

Redemptive wounds

When I noticed a swelling in my groin, God told me it was a hernia and said I should go and see a doctor. But I resisted and insisted that He should heal me. But He refused.

It took me nearly 2 years to obey God’s instruction. When I finally obeyed, the doctor rubbed salt into my wound by saying I have to have the hernia surgically corrected. But I thought it was anomalous to be called into a healing ministry and still have to undergo surgery.

When I was discharged from the hospital, God told me to read psalm 41:1-3, which says: “The Lord will strengthen (you) on (your) bed of illness; (He) will sustain (you) on (your) sickbed.”

Then He said:

 “Femi, you know Me as a doctor, but I also want you to know Me as a nurse.”

CONTINUED

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