“What if God healed you tomorrow?” my daughter asked me one morning. “Would you want to be healed?”
Six years ago, in one brief April moment of skidding tires, shrieking metal, breaking glass and side-impact airbags, a green Toyota minivan slammed into the side of ours at 50 miles an hour, and instantly changed our lives.
Within weeks, my kids’ injuries healed. Mine did not. For three years, I journeyed through tests and procedures, medications, specialists, occupational and physical therapy, and multiple surgeries. I alternately hoped for, prayed for, begged for healing, and God said, “No.”
“Well, it’s not that I like living with pain, but I know me, and I’m not sure I’d stay this close to God without it. What if God healed me and I suddenly slid back into old, familiar habits – hurried and impatient and stressed with no time for people, no time to notice God in the moment, no time or desire to stop and breathe in His incredible beauty? Honestly, that would be worse in every way than this.”
“But how do you know it wouldn’t be different now?”
“I don’t know for sure, but when the pain is less I still feel a pull to do more, to be more. For the past six years God has proven He’s sufficient, more than enough, yet somehow on the better days I still feel that old tug to fight Him for control.”
Aloud, I answered my daughter, “Maybe God is choosing not to heal me, because He knows my injury is better not only for me, but for everyone around me. I might not like the pain, but I do like the person I’m becoming because of it.”
Over the years, I’ve been asked a surprising question, “Don’t you wish the woman who hit you would know all the pain she’s caused?”
No! Not once, not ever in these past six years have I wished that. It was an accident – just an accident. For one brief moment she looked away. It could have been me. How often have I looked away, distracted?
I can’t go back and undo what’s done, but even if I could, I’m no longer sure I would, because through the pain I’ve discovered a treasure – an accidental treasure – the incomparable beauty of God, grace in the moment, strength for each breath, mercy and love paving each new step of the way. How humbling to see myself through the filter of pain as God’s Hand carves away my independent, critical spirit, hewing off harsh judgment, chiseling away at my foolish pride, sanding off raw edges, and slowly, methodically day-by-day, grain-by-grain, polishing my soul, till His Spirit living in me begins to brilliantly shine through me, becoming, one day, a worthy vessel fit for the King.