One of the things I am struck with while reading the accounts of the Lord healing people in the Bible and by the casting out of demons, is the absence of any suffering going on while being healed. I believe I am not the only one who knows that healing is a process that starts with torture. None of us are healed overnight, none of us are healed instantly either. When we take aspirin for a headache, the headache lingers on for a while before the aspirin does it’s job. When we break a leg, the leg is broken for a few months until it heals. While the headache subsides and the leg heals, there continues to be pain. In the case of the broken leg there is the pain of the fracture itself, then there is the pain of healing, then the pain of strengthening while you learn to walk again.
In life we will go through various stages of suffering. It can be mental or physical, it can even be emotional. All require time to heal. You can never walk away unscathed from a relationship breakup anymore than you can walk away from the death of a loved one. Both take time to get over with.
If being healed instantly was entirely possible, we would be mindless robots and not flesh and blood.
Suffering teaches us a lot, or at least it’s supposed to. It teaches us to be humble. It teaches us not to look down on others who suffer (whatever type of suffering that is…) I know that I am watching my brothers suffering through a lot…I watch them as they work two jobs, doing what they can just to keep the house and family afloat. Or even work one job, with a lot of time off in between. I listen to the breakup of a family.
Right at the moment I am going through some major stuff in my body. There is the sleep apnea, obesity, my left knee and hand are experiencing moments of pain…probably either arthritis or gout. I notice my left index finger has moments of being stuck…normally I would think it’s due to my age…but who knows what is going on. My back is also hurting. God only knows what is next….
But I am becoming instinctively aware of things others are going through. Not that there’s much I can do to help them…that requires intervention from a God that is bigger than I am, and able to provide all the help that I can’t give. I mean I can’t actually cure such things as emphysema or alcoholism, cancer is out of my league for sure. I can’t touch neurosis…and unfortunately I don’t have the answer to homelessness and starvation. (Actually I do have that answer, but no one would either listen or act on it).
All of what I have written are long term are relatively long term. Even a headache, a rather short term malady, can be long term depending on the state of the one who is going through it. But we can learn a lot through suffering, through our own, or through others….