Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries, encourages us with a Spiritual UPGRADE, written from her unique perspective of dealing with a life of chronic illness and pain.
Lisa asks, “How does one make sense of the scriptures where it says God will inflict trouble or suffering on us?”
I (Dawn) think that’s an age-old question. Remember the Patriarch Job’s friends, wondering why God allowed Job to suffer so?
Lisa continues . . .
Hosea told God’s people, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds” (Hosea 6:1).
This is a difficult verse to swallow when we are feeling beaten down. He tore us to pieces? He has injured us?
Is this the loving God we worship?
Yes. It is.
For a variety of reasons outside of my illness, this has been the most difficult season in my life. Someone recently gave me a kind compliment on my endurance and faith and I replied,
“It is called ‘face-plant faith’ when you are on your knees–spiritually–every moment.”
So, of all the scriptures, why does this one bring me comfort? Because it reminds me God is still in control.
We don’t worship a God who specializes in leftovers, making something out of Satan’s mess. He can take our sins—our messed up life—and make miracles.
But do we really believe God is at the mercy of waiting for the evil one to play his games so He has something to build on?
God knew before we were born that our life would have seasons of joy and seasons of tears and He knew every cause of them.
God is much more interested in cleaning us out than cleaning us up.
He debrides us, layer by layer by layer. He removes everything that impedes our spiritual healing.
And it hurts. It hurts more than anything we will ever go through.
(NOTE: Lisa explains the painful "debriding" concept so beautifully in this video.)
But we gradually depend on less of our own strength and more of His. The layers of sin get skimmed off in the fire and yet we still do not get burned.
He may withdraw His protection at times, but never His presence.
It is hard to read scriptures about God not just allowing pain, but sometimes inflicting it. But don’t forget, He is our Father. No pain is without a purpose.
God can only truly heal our heart by getting rid of the sin from the inside out.
Are you going through a tough time of “tearing” right now? Can you see how God might be “debriding” your life to heal you for your good and His glory?
Lisa Copen began Rest Ministries to encourage those who are chronically ill through daily devotionals, small groups called HopeKeepers, and other support. She is the author of a variety of books including Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia for twenty years and resides in San Diego with her husband and son.
(This post is adapted from Lisa’s devotional at RestMinistries.com, 11-4-13, “Is Our Suffering God Tearing Us to Pieces to Build Us Back Up?”