“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” (Melody Beattie)
Which one of us, given the question, “Do you want more healing in your life?” would answer, “Actually, I want more destruction.” My son, Josh, broke his hand a few years ago. He was given a super teeny cast (the “Michael Jackson one-glove look”). The doctor, as usual, (like I hadn’t heard this at least a thousand times before…after all, I raised four children) said, “follow my instructions and it will heal.”
We all know what it’s like to receive, from our wonderful and smart health care providers, that long sheet of paper spelling out all the instructions to make sure healing happens (and some of us… I won’t say who… do a better job than others at following them). I knew this at the time. I wanted Josh’s hand to heal throughly and quickly. (After all, now he would have an excuse not to empty the dishwasher.)
Being the cynical person that I am, I wondered about the point of this miniature cast. After all, look at it. It’s ridiculously small and I’m not even sure it’s doing much of anything. Did it even matter? Could he get healing without the cast?
However, being the rule-follower and anxiety-ridden person that I am, we followed the instructions to a tee. We certainly did not want more destruction of the hand. We both wanted healing. And we both trusted that this wee cast would provide the right environment for it.
The right environment. Hmm. Now there’s a thought. This bitty cast doesn’t heal his hand. All it does, even super teeny, is provide the right environment for the healing to occur. The cast doesn’t get in there and cause the bones to be “remodeled” (I know this term from watching 12 years of Bones episodes). That comes because our bodies, given the right environment and care, have been designed by God to heal themselves.
More thoughts. Can this apply to more areas than the physical? Has God given our souls, minds and hearts the ability to heal if they are in the right environment? I believe an emphatic YES. Do they have to be huge? I believe an emphatic NO.
This cast gave the room for healing. What environments, even if they are not grandiose, but small, can I give to myself to make room for healing?
My whole blog is dedicated to hope and healing. I would be amiss if I didn’t tell you that this morning, I need some of that myself. It’s been a long, emotional week (as some of you who have read my blog know… and for those of you who don’t, check out anxiety post and murder post) and I am quite exhausted from it all. I said to my husband this morning, “I just feel out of sorts and out of control.” I sat down to write. Process. And guess what? Next up (and I would imagine this isn’t a coincidence), Thankful Thursday.
I looked at my thankful app (that awful red notification circle was glaring on my phone). I realized I hadn’t written one last night. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to play catch up. I didn’t really have anything. Yesterday had been difficult. But of course, God is wise and super loving.
The thought came out of nowhere. Is thankfulness one of the environments that brings healing? I began to look it up. It is true. There are about a million (okay, just a slight exaggeration) actual scientific studies to back this up (don’t want to bore you, but check this article out).
God reminded me that it might just be what I need this morning, even though super small, to bring some healing today. No. It’s not magic or formulaic (believe me, I have lived a lifetime of that destructive line of thinking). But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s GOOD. So here goes. Join with me.
- My oldest brother turned 60 (and don’t get any ideas of how old I am…he’s the first born and I am the baby… like the super baby). We got to surprise him and share Ethiopian food. I was able to watch him become overwhelmed with the love of his family and friends. He might have even shed a tear. Highlight of the summer.
- A long lunch and talk with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen for 30+ years that I thought might not go so well. After all, she had her act together even then (in a kind of straight-laced, smart, preppy, godly way) and I certainly didn’t (in a bouncy, talk-too-much, all-over-the-place, boy-crazy way). It was wonderful and beautiful. Our hearts connected as we shared our similar journeys of brokenness and redemption. A true gift for me.
- Rachel’s wisdom tooth surgery and healing went off without a hitch (and this is no small feat in her never-ending saga of tooth infections and emergency extractions). It’s the small things sometimes. The not-end-up-in-the-emergency-room things.
- Celebrating the wedding of our friends’ son. Watching young love blossom. Their commitments to God and each other. The roasts (I mean toasts). Shoe games. Gorgeous weather for an August Saturday. Reminders of our own love and commitment. Continued thankfulness for Allen and our 26+ years.
- A rainy Monday provided for the day I woke up with a sore throat. Cozy rest. A nap when I needed it. Rain makes me feel safe inside. Long story. Thankful.
Here’s to asking God to do only what He can do. I can’t bring healing to myself. Only He can. That’s his job. And my job? To follow the instructions of the Great Physician. Listen to His heart for me. Place myself in environments so that He can do His job. It’s not a formula. It’s not magic. I’m not even sure how it all works. But I do know this, celebrating and speaking out and reminding myself of all that I am thankful for is GOOD. And I will take it today.