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How quickly we break. How slowly we heal. With a fall and a snap, an arm can be broken in seconds. It will take at least 6 weeks to heal. A long-term friendship can be injured in the time it takes to say a harsh word. It will be longer before trust and laughter are restored. A loved one can be lost in a tragic instant, but whatever closure is – it is not fast. I can offend my Lord and stain my soul in the brevity of a thought. God is quick to forgive, but I may bear the weight of my wound for some time. You know all these things. You learned early that pain is swift but comfort crawls. Have you ever asked why this is so? Why does healing take so long?

If I created the universe, I would balance the swiftness of damage with instantaneous repair. Life would break quickly, but just as quickly be restored. To me that sounds like a great idea! But the wisdom of God has designed us differently. If we could be healed in the same moment of our injury, we would disregard the seriousness of trauma. Car crashes, viruses, slander or violence all lose their impact. The harm of angry action is diminished if we return to normal immediately. The time it takes to heal our body, mind, heart and soul is time we can reflect on the fragility of life. We will learn to protect and honour our physical frames, our cherished relationships and the purity of our souls. Since we know the longevity of brokenness, we will be wiser with our words and deeds. But there is a deeper treasure to be found in the slow process of healing.

God is always in the healing process. Whether it be bones, friendships, or spirits, nothing is ever set right apart from His mercy. So, it is a grace that healing takes longer. We are gifted with the opportunity to walk with the Healer. Not only will our Lord teach us the causes and cautions about the initial injury, but He will unmask us. We are revealed better in recovery than in health. He too, is revealed in our recovery. There is a tenderness and kindness of God that we will not understand apart from physiotherapy of the soul. In healing, we encounter God as He is with who we really are.

Some of you are in a time of repair just now. Something in your world collapsed quickly. It feels like an eternity to build again. Take heart. God has not forgotten you. He is not casual about your needs. He is present with you in the slow unfolding of restoration. Don’t begrudge this time. It is time to be with the Healer. Also, take hope. God has an everlasting restoration before us. One way to regard eternity is to consider that forever is the time we need to recover from the wounds of this earth. Not one of us will think it too long.

Scott Tolhurst

Scott Tolhurst

Scott and his wife have spent almost 50 years following God together through life, marriage and ministry. They’ve hop scotched across Canada and landed at the water’s edge on Vancouver Island. They’ve harvested the riches of family (5 grandkids!) and the delights of God’s people. Life has not always been clear but the fog has been pierced with these truths. The heart matters. Kingdom work is God’s. Nothing can replace faith. It never ceases to amaze Scott that, if his life is a gift, how great the Giver must be!

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