Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Pace of Learning and Healing
I was thinking yesterday about the time it takes for things to happen in a person's life... healing... growth. Like making tea or soup all the ingredients can be there but time allows for steeping and stirring.
While exhortation to faith is good and necessary... at times we only have a capacity for exposure to faith. Things need to be slowly extracted like sun tea on the back porch.
Healing can be slow. Is that alright with us? It has to be or we will re-aggravate the wound. When things are healing everything is not all neat and tidy as we would like it. Things have been pushed out of place and they need to fall back into place. Not all on their own... there are bandages, and braces and medicine to prevent infection. Things or people can be there so support and help but some things can't be rushed.
Learning can be slow. On piece at a time. We struggle through concepts and misconceptions. Bad habits need to be unlearned along the way. We put things down for time out of necessity and then must begin again and relearn the basics. They return to us faster when we learn it the second time... or the third time.
One of the Biblical examples that came to me was Moses. He had three 40 year blocks of time in his life. 40 years! That is a long time for a tea bag to steep in the water. But, That is what it took to take an angry man and make him into the meekest man on the face of the Earth.
"Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3 NKJV
It was direct exposure and time that made him this way.
"And he said, 'Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?' And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, 'Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother's womb.' And Moses cried to the LORD, 'O God, please heal her - please.' But the LORD said to Moses, 'If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.' So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again." Numbers 12:6-15 ESV
This whole passage is very interesting. Miriam is not made leprous until after God departs. Aaron the priest instinctively acts as the priest. That is what he is and has been made to be. But, God speaks to Moses and makes Miriam wait a time. She is healed but it is process and takes awhile. All of Israel waits and will not march until she is restored.
Can we live in faith and give people grace? Can we be patient with ourselves and give ourselves grace?
I have heard men preach about this and believed it when I heard it but maybe it's because I have been doing this for a while that it is beginning to sink in. I've been quick to judge a person or situation thinking I was wise but really I was not.
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV
Amen to that! God will mature His 'Moses's and heal His 'Miriam's. Will there be anyone to intercede?