Healing Rain

When I write these posts, I like to think of titles that are related to the devotions, but not exactly like them though I will use the same title if I can’t think of anything else. My own take, so to speak. I think it has helped me as I’ve written each one of these blog posts.

Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 9:12. “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.'” There is not a one of us who would disagree with this verse. We instinctively know that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. But, we don’t like the pain involved with the healing God brings us though it’s for our own good. The author uses the example of surgery on our bodies to make this clear. When the doctor wants us to have surgery, there is usually a good outcome expected–a new baby, better health. Though it hurts while we’re healing, there will be a time when we feel better. This is true with physical surgery  as well as spiritual surgery. In fact, I agree with most of what the author says except for how she portrays bravery in the final sentence.  “And we can be brave in the face of brokenness and pain and spiritual surgery because we know that God is good.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs)

Now, before anyone gets upset, I do believe God is good with all of my heart. What I’ve latched on to today is bravery in the face of pain and hurt and how that relates to expressing emotion. My disagreement with the last sentence comes from what she means by bravery. If she means not to express emotion, then I disagree. If she means expressing emotion is okay, then I agree.

But, that really isn’t my point today. I just wanted to clarify where I agreed and where I disagreed with the author.

So, back to my musings. In recent years, I’ve become a face of the Christian artist, Laura Story, in particular, because of her song, Blessings. The first time I heard Blessings, it was being played at a funeral. It touched my heart at an almost indescribable level. I know God placed the words on her heart to write. Let me quote the song so you will know what I mean.

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things’Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

I believe these words are an invitation from God to express emotion, and I’ve cried when I’ve heard them at funerals. But, what about crying at other times and at church, in general? What about expressing hurt and joy or anger and gentleness? What about expressing emotion, period? I believe there are some places, some churches that do this well, but, for the most part, churches don’t do this well as evidenced by what happened to me on Sunday. So, what happens to those of us who take a risk and tell how we’re really feeling to people from church or while we’re at church, and it doesn’t go well? We shut down. We bury our emotions. Worship and church activities become a “Hello, how are you?” “I’m fine, how are you?” enterprise, and the true intimacy that God wants for us as believers becomes non-existent. I think that is sad. One time, I heard someone say, “If people knew what I really struggled with, they would kick me out.” That hurt my heart, but I resonated with it. I’m just as good as he was at putting up shields and burying emotions at the one place where we shouldn’t have to.
So, I’ve been looking and thinking and pondering since Sunday, and I think I’ve come to a way of seeing healing and expressing emotion. It’s in the title of this post–healing rain. God gave me my emotions to use, to express, to marvel, and to wonder at His creation. We have emotions so we can know how much He loves us and so we can share His love. He gave us emotions so we can live in the now and the not yet and so we can know His healing power. God gave us rain too so it makes sense to me that rain can heal souls as well as give nourishment to the land. My bravery is not stoic and muscle-bound like society portrays today and like I think some in the church would like it to be. Instead, it is full of tears and rain and full of God’s healing power. May we all give our brothers and sisters grace as we learn to express our emotions in front of our Lord and Savior!
Praying God’s blessings on you all today!

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