Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
Today, I want to talk about a key idea that we really need to keep in mind as we care for our hurting friends, and that is… God is the one responsible for the healing, and we are there to support God in the work He is doing.
Let me explain.
You and I don’t have the power to heal people from sickness or disease. That’s God’s part. However, you and I can support Him in His work by doing what He has given us to do:
- taking someone to their doctor’s appointments
- assisting them with the financial strain of having a chronic illness or disease
- praying for them
- sending them notes or calling them to let them know we care
- providing meals or childcare, if needed
God calls us to get involved. It’s our ministry of encouragement that helps people through the hard situations. And it gives us the opportunity to point people toward Him.
Healing of the Paralyzed Man
Think back to the Bible story about the paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2, verses 1 through 12. The paralyzed man needed healing, but his friends couldn’t heal him. They knew they had to get him to Jesus.
And so they carry him. They find the house Jesus was at. They fight their way through the crowd. They carry their friend up to the roof. They cut a hole in the roof. They grab their sashes and lower him down.
They did a LOT of work to support their friend. But they couldn’t heal him. They had to trust Jesus to do that part.
And friends, we have to trust Jesus with that part, too.
Not everyone we bring to Jesus will be healed this side of heaven. Some will pass away. We are experiencing that even in recent months—people we’ve been praying for, they’ve passed away. We couldn’t heal them. We can’t heal the brokenness and grief that their families are experiencing.
But we can care for them. We can show up for them. We can keep praying for them. We can find ways to support them through this season so they know they don’t grieve alone.
If we try to do God’s part, not only are we going to fail, but we’re going to grow frustrated and angry and bitter. We have to know that there are some things only God can do. And we must press on to fulfill our part—in faith, in love, with compassion. We pick up our part of the stretcher, and we lift and carry our friend to Jesus.
Let me give you a bit of an everyday example.
Our 4-year-old son loves to help: putting clothes in the washer and dryer, fixing his meals and snacks, putting groceries away. It’s great!
But he and I both need to recognize his limits. While I would love to completely pass ALL of these tasks over to him, I know that he’s not ready. He’s not old enough. He physically cannot do all of it on his own.
And if he and I forget that, we both grow frustrated.He wants to help in a certain way, but he can’t. And so he has his part of the job, and I have mine.
- He grabs the food from the fridge or pantry and puts it on the counter for me. But I’m the one cutting up the fruit or making the sandwich.
- He takes clothes from the laundry basket and tosses them into the washer. But I’m the one putting in the soap.
- He carries the lighter grocery sacks into the house, while I grab the heavy ones, and we both pile them all on the floor. He puts away what he can–the cereal, the crackers, the (sometimes smashed) bread. I put away the heavier things or the items that go up high.
It’s a team effort.
It reminds me that it’s kind of that way with God, too. I have my role to play, and He has His.
If I try to do God’s part (which, I’m unable to do anyway), I only grow frustrated that it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to.
When it comes to encouraging a friend, I can call and text and send notes and help with groceries and do all sorts of things. But I can’t heal their bodies or their hearts. I can’t make them be ready to accept help from me, but I can be prepared to help when they are ready.
Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” And reading through Ezekiel 34, we see so many images of God caring for His wounded sheep.
God is the true Healer. We don’t always understand His ways and His timing, but the truth remains that only God can heal.
So my question for you is, what does all of this look like for you today? Who in your life is on a stretcher? What is God’s part of the healing process? And what is yours? How can you help carry them?
If you want to explore this idea of being a stretcher bearer, go back and listen to episode 49: Finding Your Stretcher Bearers. It will help you identify ways different people can carry a person through a difficult season—whether that is you or someone you love.
For now, remember that only God can heal. Our job is to carry our friend to Him in whatever way we can—even if it means tearing a hole in someone’s roof to get them there.
An Invitation to Journal Gently
As we close, I want to remind you that registration is open for Journal Gently.
Journal Gently is an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.
The truth is, we’ve all experienced grief and trauma and hardship. In other words, we’ve all been the one on the stretcher who needed to be carried to Jesus for healing.
This program is one way I can help carry you to Jesus. It is designed specifically with a gentle pace and as a sacred space where you can meet with God and process some of the things you have experienced.
Journal Gently will start on August 1 and run through September 23.
Okay, that is all for today, my friends. Until next time… let’s encourage one another.
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.
RESOURCES + BIBLE VERSES:
- Episode 49 – Finding Your Stretcher Bearers: The People Who Can Help Carry You Through a Difficult Season
- Mark 2:1-12 – Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
- “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
- Ezekiel 34 – The Good Shepherd
INTERESTED IN WRITTEN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION?
I’d be honored to walk with you through a difficult season and help you discover God’s presence and work in your life.