Our Unfinished Story

How Healing Happens, Part 6

My grandpa was a man of few serious words. Oh, he talked plenty. But his native language was sarcasm in his New York Bronx accent. He would talk seriously about God in church but he wasn’t a man to often share words of wisdom or thoughtful compliments. He called me Lizard and I called him Pal. He belched at the table and paid us to scratch his back after he’d been on his feet cooking up a delicious roast beef dinner for the family.

But one semester I came home from college for Thanksgiving with a broken heart and when I went out to the rotisserie spit where he was roasting the turkeys, he asked how I was, and when I muttered some words about not being okay, he said, “Well, honey, remember that the story hasn’t been finished yet.”

God knew I needed those words.

Pal was right. My story didn’t end with a heart broken by a thoughtless college guy. It didn’t even end when I found the man I married (unlike Hollywood would have us believe). Or when I started living out my dream of serving the church full time. It didn’t end when I became a mom. And it hasn’t ended yet as I struggle through these health issues. God is still at work. And because of Jesus, there’s more to my story than what I talk about with my nurse practitioner.

In his treatise on Christ’s resurrection, Paul wrote this:

If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 1 Corinthians 15:17-20

God cares about the quality of our life on earth. He created our bodies to heal themselves in amazing ways when given the right tools. He provides a feast for our senses every day in the world around us.

But God cares about so much more. Our hope is not just for this life because Christ did rise from the dead and he is redeeming us body, soul and spirit.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “This is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

This world is fading away, and our bodies with it. We can eat well, exercise, care for our bodies in phenomenal ways, and still one day we’ll die. I may heal completely from my adrenal fatigue and my skin disease. My digestion may recover and my body may grow stronger than it’s ever been. That’s what I’m working towards.

But I know that, as God leads me on this journey to physical health, he is also healing me in my soul and spirit. He’s freeing me from fear. He’s teaching me to control my body’s response to stress. I’m learning self-discipline and a healthy attitude toward caring for my own needs, physical, emotional and spiritual.

And in all this, he’s getting the glory. I’m growing closer to him, and I can share with others about his faithfulness in ways I never could before. God promises to give me a new body. But the character he is refining in me lasts for eternity. It amazes me that he so patiently changes us, little by little, with our cooperation, and at a pace he knows we can handle.

Your story isn’t finished either. If you’re breathing, God isn’t done working in you and through you. What’s your next step toward healing? Is it, maybe, admitting you need God’s restoration in the first place? Recognizing where you might still be held captive? Christ’s freedom is for you. In your body, so you can serve him with all that you have. In your soul, so you can feel and love and dream with all your heart. And in your spirit, so you can walk confidently in God’s grace without shame or fear.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.

Psalm 103:2-5

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This is Part 6 of a 6-part series on How Healing Happens. I’m currently in the middle of a search for a diagnosis and healing solutions for some autoimmune and gut health concerns, and along with that, a journey to freedom. I believe we all have something we need God’s healing for and that Christ has come to set us free. I’m not an expert and I don’t have all the answers. I’m just responding to God’s leading to share what he’s teaching me in the middle of the mess. Thanks for joining me!

One thought on “Our Unfinished Story

  1. Danny R

    Hi Liz, I really enjoyed this post. It brought back fond fond memories. I miss that man, your grandpa. There is an old saying: ‘be yourself’’ He lived that out, and I now realize that it took root in me. I look forward to seeing him again.

    Reply

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