Monday, December 28, 2015


So, my word for 2015…


I remember thinking that I was relieved to have this word.

You see, the year before my word was JOY.

And I remember struggling with that word – especially when it was almost immediately challenged when my father passed away unexpectedly a little over two weeks into January.

Of course, the Lord taught me many things over the course of that year.  

He has a way of doing that.

And in the end, I learned a great deal about true joy.

But, it was a very difficult year.

So, when I felt like God gave me the word *healing,* I was pretty happy.  

"You know what," I thought to myself, "that sounds nice."

Restful and restorative.

Like 2015 was going to be an easier year.

A year in which God was going to make me feel better.

Yup, that sounded really good.

Well, things didn't quite work out like I expected.  This past year we've had more medical things happen than ever before – both with "The Hub" and I, and our extended family.

More tests, screenings, procedures.

More illness, infections, conditions.

Things that have sorely tried my patience with the mysterious workings of the human body!

Emotions have been hurting, too.

And it has NOT been fun.

So, what on earth did God mean by healing?

Why didn't He make me feel better(as in, *take all the bad stuff away* or *don't have it come in the first place* better)?

So, as I sit here in front of my computer, I'm contemplating what He's taught me about healing.

And really, as I seriously ponder it all, I realize that God has indeed taught me quite a bit not just about healing, but also about suffering.

Here's what I've learned:

1) You only need healing when you're hurting

OK, that sounds really obvious, but think about it.

People who think they've got it all under control, people whose lives are chugging along just fine – well, they don't need healing.

It's when life hits us smack in the face, when we're suffering – physically, emotionally, perhaps even spiritually – it's then that we need healing.

It's then that we cry out for it.

Yes, if you want healing, you have to admit you're hurting.

"And Jesus answered and said to them, 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.'" (Luke 5:31, NASB)

2) Sometimes healing requires more brokenness


Just like broken bones sometimes need to be re-broken before they can heal properly.

Or a tooth needs a root canal and a crown – (which I whined about quite well last week).

Sometimes healing is a process, not an immediate fix.

And sometimes the Lord has more work to do, and we must learn through the pain.

"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness…" (Hebrews 12:11, AMP)

3) Not all suffering has a reason, but it all has a purpose

Let me clarify this.

Sometimes we might be tempted to put a "label" on our suffering (or that of others).  

We might be inclined to attribute the blame to either God or the devil.  

But, I would caution against this tendency.

Sometimes God isn't trying to teach us a lesson, or the enemy isn't attacking us.

Sometimes suffering just happens because we live in a broken world.

Stuff happens.

So there might not be a "reason" for suffering, but there's always a purpose.

God is not a God of waste.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28, NIV)

4) The question shouldn't be why, but how

So sure, suffering is inevitable in a sinful world. 

And as I said above, there might not be a clear place to assign blame. 

However, I think spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why something happened is really a waste of time.

The better question is how.

How am I going to react to this?

How am I going to let God use this in my life?

How am I not going to let the enemy use it?

Refocus from the confusion of the pain, to the completion of the work it will do in your life.

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you." (Philippians 3:14-15, ESV)

5) We were not promised ease in life

Yup, straight from Jesus' mouth.

In this life, you WILL have trials and tribulations.

Healing may not come, or it may not come in the way that you want it – 

But there is always hope, and hope itself is healing.

"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, NLT)

6) Suffering for Jesus' sake is a privilege


I don't know about you, but pain is…well…a pain!

And it's hard to recognize it as anything else.  

But in some crazy, God-works-backwards kind of way, sharing in the suffering of Jesus is important, even honorable.

And it requires humility on our part to bear this particular cross.

Do I understand the mystery of it all?

No, but as His child, I'll gladly stand by His side.

"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world." 
(1 Peter 4:12-13, NLT)

7) God cares about our healing, but more about our sanctification

Sanctification can be defined this way:

"Sanctification involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration."

And though God is not callous toward our pain, His greater purpose is to make us look more and more like His Son.

His perfect will sometimes requires that we are not healed.

And sometimes when that happens, the soul transcends the pain in beautiful fashion, and healing comes in an entirely spiritual way.

Not a cure, but healed nonetheless.

And sometimes in the not-healing, one is given an extra dose of grace and glory.  

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was…Then Jesus told them plainly, 'Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.'" John 11:5-6, 14-15, ESV)

8) Jesus understands

We say this so often, does it begin to lose its impact?

Honestly, how can it?!

Jesus, God of the Universe, GETS. IT.

He knew pain, and He also knew the pain of asking for healing, and having the answer be "NO."

The Garden of Gethsemane is evidence of that.

Jesus was not spared suffering.

He was not miraculously healed.

No, He died.

He went through all the travails of being human, and even endured things worse than you or I will ever have to face.  

Therefore, He is our perfect Friend.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are…" 
(Hebrews 4:15, HCSB)

9) You can feel particularly close to God when you're sad, sick, or suffering

I have noticed this to be true.

When I'm hurting, needing desperately to be healed, I am often transported to a small and vulnerable place within myself.

And in that place, God meets me.

Lo and behold, sometimes the healing is just His very presence.

And it is more than enough.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18, NIV)

10) Your pain can allow you to help heal others

Have you ever gone through something, then talked to someone else who either has or is going through the same thing?

And then you hear them say those magical words:

"I know what you're going through."

There is powerful healing in those words. 

And sometimes, our pain puts us in that precious position of reaching into the spirit of another person with comfort and empathy.

And lo and behold, helping someone else brings healing to our own spirit.

Giving brings receiving.

"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)

11) The Word of God has power to heal

I can't tell you how many times I've opened my Bible and found just exactly the right passage of Scripture that spoke directly and deeply to my pain.

No, maybe the circumstances didn't change, but I did.

If healing means to set right again, to restore to proper functioning, to be relieved of pain – then the Word of God is my miracle cure.

The words of God possess the power to heal.

"And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled." (Romans 15:4, NLT)

12) It's OK to pray for healing

Again, Jesus is our perfect example.

And once again, I refer to the Garden of Gethsemane.

He asked, more than once, in deep agonizing turmoil, to be spared the pain of dying.

God did not grant that request, and Jesus accepted His will.

But He asked.

And therefore, I believe we are given permission to bring our requests for healing – for ourselves and for others – directly into the throne room of God.

But please, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that our faith is what makes the healing happen.  I am not a fan of the spiritual outlook that supports the contention that if you pray with enough faith, healing will come.

I've seen too many faith-full people die, and I've seen some others who nearly lost their faith over their agonized inability to *drum up enough.*

Whether we are healed or not, that is up to the divine and perfect will of God.

But go ahead and ask – He tells us to do just that.

"…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6, NIV)

13) When healing doesn't come, you get in touch with your core beliefs

Let me tell you, when one is sorely tested and in desperate need of healing, what we do speaks volumes about our core beliefs.

I have had times this past year when I was just completely overwhelmed and overwrought.  Times when I wanted healing more than anything else.  Times when things didn't work out in my way or timing.

And yet, in the very depths of my heart, I realized something.

God was there.

And I wanted Him more than ever.

Though I did not enjoy the path of pain that got me there, it was a blessing to realize that way-down-deep-inside…I believe.

There is something rather amazing to know that you know what you know.

To know that underneath all the myriad emotions you feel, beyond the pain and suffering, at your very rock know that you are a person of faith.

And you will not be giving up.

"As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.  So Jesus said to the twelve, 'You do not want to go away also, do you?'  Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have words of eternal life.'" (John 6:66-68, NASB)

14) Eternal healing will be a victory

Sometimes people are miraculously healed in this lifetime.

Goodness, Lazarus was even raised from the dead!

But, in the end, all people die.

Well, at least to this life!

You see, the final word on healing is still ahead of us, still in the glorious future that awaits us.

Final and complete healing will never take place until we're united with our Lord face-to-face.

It does my heart great good to know that the loved ones that have passed on in my life are now in the presence of God.

And they are awaiting that future time, just like we are, when we will be granted immortal, resurrected bodies.

Perfect and complete – incorruptible.

Free from disease and pain and suffering and death.

Ultimate healing will be the resounding victory that Jesus bought for us with His life.  

Ultimately all our prayers for healing will be answered.

For our victory, bought and paid for on the Cross, will once and forever vanquish death.  Our enemy will lose…

And we will live.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." 
(Revelation 21:4, NLT)

15) Healing is a choice we make

Let me explain.

Certainly the journey of healing often requires "outside help."

Sometimes we can't heal ourselves without the aid of doctors or nurses, psychologists and counselors, surgeries and medication.

Sometimes we need the help of a trusted pastor or fellow believer.

Sometimes our healing, though we can contribute to our own wellbeing, sometimes healing is out of our hands.

But, somehow we must be part of the process.

I think of a very popular book published in 1979 called "Anatomy of an Illness" by Norman Cousins.

Norman Cousins was given a few months to live in 1964.  He had Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare disease of the connective tissues.  He was told by a doctor that he had a 1 in 500 chance of survival. 

Cousins basically responded, "No way."

And one of the things he did was to laugh.

He chose laughter intentionally, convinced that it would affect his health.

Well, who knows – but Cousins lived until 1990!

(One of his great quotes: "Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.")

Research indicates that our thoughts and emotions *speak* to our bodies, and they have a tremendous impact on our health.  Though it's still not completely understood, one's attitude seems to make a huge difference in the progress and prognosis of many diseases.

I believe that there are three things crucial in our contribution to healing – a desire to get well, a fighting spirit, and hope for the future.

A positive attitude is good medicine.

"…by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us.   This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it] – a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever…" (Hebrews 6:18-20, AMP)

When I began my journey in 2015, when I was pondering the word *healing,* I felt so strongly that I was given the story of the man at the Pool of Betheseda.  Crippled for many years, he had many excuses for why he wasn't healed.

But when Jesus met him, He didn't immediately heal the man.

Instead He asked him a very pointed question:

"Do you want to get well?"

This question has come to my mind so often during the past year.

I think that was the beginning point of my year of healing – answering that question.  

Because it's not as straightforward as it seems.  

My gut reaction was to scream, "YES!  Of course I do!  I am in pain, after all."

And if I'm honest, I still sorta feel that way.  I want the quick fix, the "take all the bad stuff away" or "don't have it come in the first place." 

But true healing has required learning other lessons.

Lessons of humility, desire, longing, self-sacrifice, surrender.

I wanted to feel better.

God wanted me to believe.

Won't you please come back next week for the *Big Reveal* of my word for 2016?

It's definitely another stretching word, and God has His work cut out for Him when it comes to me!!

But I believe it's a continuation, a further revealing to my year of healing.

Chapter Two, if you will...

I just wonder what He has in store!!

Unto you who revere
and worshipfully
fear My name
Shall the Sun of Righteousness
with healing in His wings.

Please check out my thoughts and verses on HEALING on my sidebar.  They'll be up there until next Monday, when I reveal my Word for 2016, which is...

You'll have to come back.

I love a cliffhanger...

Do you have any additional thoughts or comments on healing?

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. This was so great to read, Sharon; lots of thoughts about healing; we tend to want to take the easy way out, don't we? Being immediately or miraculously healed, but it is part of a process of growing us to be the person God wants us to be. I do look forward to your word to be revealed next week. I have one in mind; I'll probably not blog it, but will add it in my comment to your next week's post :)

    Happy New Year!


  2. WOW Sharon - what a recap! How can we possibly have more to add on healing. If it was not covered in these 15 points ... plus God's Word, then it's somehow hidden and yet to be revealed because you stepped it up in this one with so much to ponder. Sometimes our healing comes in small increments unlike the grandiose instant miracle ones ... and the healing goes unnoticed then but it is a work in progress, so when it's complete, we can look back and recall those moments. How much better it would be if we would document each step, if only we knew that healing is at work in us.
    {perhaps you mentioned this in a different way}.

    Your personal conclusion was the best. Each of these 15 built upon the previous and I nodded all along at each one ... watching the many lessons you learned and we learn from you. Spiritual and emotional healing often are the most difficult to see but believing covers that too! #14 was my favorite!

    I too thought that this year of healing for you would be just what the Doctor ordered ... yet instead there were many lessons of suffering to coincide with seeing His healing at work.

    That quote from Cousins is so true!

    All I know is that each time I pray for healing for myself while down here in Mexico, because I despise going to any medical person for anything here, including dentist, and I am never certain of them --- I am so thankful when I feel just a bit of God's healing touch (so I don't have to see anyone). I am content and have faith in my Great Physician (knowing that when I go home to USA, my regular doctor will run a complete battery of everything for me) but meanwhile I rely on God and ever so thankful for His care and faithfulness.

    You know, when I was driving here on one of my many trips quite a while ago, because recently I've been flying back and forth - some unknown minister and his wife spoke to me in a Wal-Mart parking lot and prayed for me to receive the gift of healing ... so when I prayed for others (I was hoping and thinking) they would receive healing from God. However, I have not seen this for others but without a doubt, I have seen it for me. (i.e. I will feel a pain in my tooth or ear, lay hands and ask for God to take away that pain or bring healing until I can take care of it and He does.) Does this surprise me? Yes and no. For it is what I believe and if at any point He does not, I realize that there is something I need to change ... and then He does. It's not that simple and yet at that moment for me, it is and it also is quite profound.

    Looking forward as always to your great reveal ... really good cliffhanger. Were you hinting to it in this post? Guess I'll find out soon enough. We gotta watch what we ask for or choose as a God given Word... as you have more than found out with JOY and HEALING!

    I do continue to pray for you and yours, healing and God's favor in the midst of every circumstance. I am so thankful that in all the lessons learned, you felt close to God and that He was ever near. I've been doing a 4 day reading plan on God's Closeness and I loved it enough to sign up to receive twice a week from the LOOP-Gather Ministries with Jennifer Camp. It really speaks to me.

    May you and your enjoy a wonderful and blessed New Year!
    (((hugs))) love you Sharon, blessings and prayers ~Peggy

  3. Can't wait to hear what your word is for 2016 Sharon! It's interesting how God finds a way to use one word to really guide our year. May you have a happy new year! #SoulSurvival

  4. These one words from God are so personal even if it's an everyday word it always amazes me how He speaks to me through it! With me, it's like - "Did I hear you correctly, Lord?" and then it comes to me everywhere and is often a surprise when it's people who share something about it. I doubt that you will ever view "healing" the same or me with "grace" from this past year!

  5. I wrote about my "One Word" today as well. Joining you from Sharing His Beauty. My word last year was PATIENCE. So grateful for the learnings and looking forward to my word in 2016 .... whatever that is!!

    1. Pam, I love this. I wrote about my word for the year as well. Mine is, "teamwork." Wishing you an incredible 2016, and year of patience :)

  6. Your so awesome in breaking down each word or feeling. There is a lot to learn from this post. I need to read it a few more times.

  7. As we grow older, our bodies do not always cooperate with our desires. My two recent falls are still healing. The cracked rib sticks me in the back each night as I attempt to lay down. However, I am better than I was. In our times of sorrow, we can still experience His joy, In times of distress and sickness, we know that he carried our pains and brings healing. Most of us could do with a renewal in spirit, soul and body. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  8. Oh my, Sharon! Each of those points is worthy of a blog post all by itself. This one hit home with me in particular: "13) When healing doesn't come, you get in touch with your core beliefs." Like most of us over 50, I keep collecting physical ailments that need healing, but healing isn't here yet, so I need to throw myself back on the mercy of God and just take one day at a time. Blessings to you in 2016. You've been such a blessing to me in 2015!

  9. I agree with Lisa, this could have been an amazing series...still could! You nailed it, over and over again. Loved every bit! Happy New Year to you friend! ♥

  10. Sharon, you learned such valuable lessons from your one word this year. Appreciate all the nuggets you shared with us on healing and I look forward to what the new year brings. Blessings and joy to you.

  11. Hi Sharon, wishing you and your family a very happy new year.

  12. Wow-kazow... A ton of wisdom in this post. Not easy to hear, but necessary to live at peace with our Maker. Good word, sister. God is teaching and using you. Looking forward to your next word!

  13. Wow...that was SOME re-cap...every point you made so right-on! I couldn't have said it better surprise there :) Looking forward to the unveiling of your new word. Happy New Year, precious friend!

  14. Wonderful post. It's going to fit right in with my theme for next week's Tuesday I'll be featuring this. A great way to kick off a new year and spread hope to many out there who need to hear your comforting words and the words of Jesus our healer.

  15. This is the most beautiful, necessary read I have encountered in a very long time. I can't tell you how much I have struggled with this. It started with my son who was very ill and continued when my husband and I struggled with illness. My son and I are still fighting battles. The Lord has dealt with me on a spiritual level over and over again when all I wanted was for him to take care of the physical. I know it has a purpose, so I wait on his timing. In the meantime, I am pinning this. I need to read it over and over again. Thank you very much for sharing.

  16. Beautifully expressed and gives me much hope after a hardish year.

  17. Hey Sharon,

    What an incredible post! There are so many great takeaways. What stood out to me the most was your statement that, "Not all suffering has a reason, but it all has a purpose." Sometimes difficult things, just happen--it's part of living in a fallen world. This resonated with me because I have a hard time letting things go. I'm learning that sometimes I need to stop trying to figure out why difficult things are happen and instead, accept them, learn from them, and move on. Thank you for this reminder, and for sharing your journey. Wishing you an incredible 2016!

  18. Great points on healing Sharon. I am with Jed on the takeaways, suffering does have a purpose, there is always a lesson to be learned from it, a deeper place to go when it hits, growth happening in the depth of suffering is those gems you never forget. Happy New Year Sharon.

  19. From this post, it seems you received many rich lessons from Our Father! While not always pleasant to live through, aren't we privileged to be called His and clearly see His presence everywhere?! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Hi Sharon! Wow, you learned a lot from your word last year. That's so awesome! ( I wonder if anyone has ever continued their word to the new year?? ) Oh yes, I'll be back to check out your new word. My year of 'joy' just ended, and I'm on to my new theme. I'll publish tonight :)
    Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what God has in store for you,

  21. Oh, my!! I'm a bit nervous now, Sharon. My word I chose for 2016 is "happiness" and my reasoning was that 2015 was such a demanding and stressful year that I think my joy was dried up by the end of it. It does seem like when I choose a word - which I haven't done in a few years - God finds a way to, as you described, "sanctify" me and stretch me, for sure! Healing does sound like a restful and nice word to have, but again, not always is our understanding of a word the same as Gods. May 2016 provide less pain and more relief for you and the Hubs - praying God see you need for rest and provide, as well!!!

  22. My dear Daddy used to always tell me that Christian character is forged in the crucible of pain. His words could not have been more accurate. God's main goal is get each of us to Heaven, and whew, sometimes the process of our pruning is not fun! So thankful He has brought you through this past year, my dear friend. The dear Lord has brought you to my mind so many times, and I have prayed. May He just bless you abundantly in this new year!

  23. Thank you for sharing this inspirational and encouraging post with #SocialButterflySunday! I hope that 2016 is a healing year for you, and that the word joy from last year also comes your way. God has a way of healing our hearts so that we can experience joy like never before. Hope to see you link up again this week! Happy New Year :)

  24. Wow- such a super post! I'm sorry you had such a tough year... yet you obviously are able to look back and see God at work ALWAYS. I'm intrigued to see your word for 2016 :) I posted about my word for the year, too, and it was quite an unexpected one for me! Stopping by from Counting My Blessings- Happy New Year!

  25. What a great reflection on the last year and how God has walked with you through the journey. Can't wait to see what you're hoping for in 2016. Thank you for sharing with #TheCozyReadingSpot

    1. Hey Sharon, just wanted to touch base again - you're post is featured this week on The Cozy Reading Spot, and I was going to give you a shout out on Facebook, but I didn't know if you had a fb page... stop by and let me know


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)