The Hebrew word that is used in the old testament for healer is Rapha. The true meaning of this word is “to mend, to cure, to heal, to thoroughly make whole.” When I read that in my little book I am studying, alongside my Bible, the words “to thoroughly make whole” jumped off the page to me. I have shared before that life has dealt me and my family a few hard blows over the past few years. I have always been a believer that you can let things make you bitter or you can let them make you better. As these life experiences seemed to come at us one right after the other for awhile. I had a choice, I could wallow in grief, hurt and despair or I could sit at the feet of Jesus and tell Him about how bad it hurt and see what He could do with it.
In my study these verses in Proverbs were shown to me in a new way.
“My son be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
Now I have read through the Bible and especially through Proverbs many times and these words have never hit me like they did this time. I am sure it is because they were pointed out to me, and this is the first time I have specifically studied God as healer. But I can say that even though I have never studied God as healer I have sure experienced Him as healer.
I have always been much more of a Mary than a Martha. I love to sit at Jesus feet and read the Word, or any other book for that matter. (My house is a testament to that fact. I do clean, but I don’t see it like other people I know do. I clean because well someone has got to knock the crust off. Not because I particularly find great joy in it.) But as I went through things that broke my heart, I became even more driven to the Word and time to just sit with Jesus. For a while there I devoured whatever I could put in front of me. My heart was hurting so I turned to the only thing that I knew could heal it. I took in podcasts of teachings and sermons, I listened to worship music, I read devotional books and teaching books, as well as my Bible. I knew that some of the things that were hurting me were not going to change. I know that God raised people from the dead back in Biblical times but I didn’t much think He was going to do that this side of eternity now. But even though I couldn’t put the words to what I was doing at the time, I was turning to the only One who could heal my soul.
And I prayed! I prayed to find joy in my heart again! I prayed for God to help me understand, if not fully on some level, some of the things that were happening. I prayed for God to help me get out of bed and function some days. I would go to work and I would put music or podcasts in the background so that what was feeding my ears could penetrate to my soul. I can’t say I was always listening to every word but I can say that it got in. There are still things I don’t understand, but I truly feel like my soul is more at rest over events and that what I received from that time in relationship with my Savior is on a deeper level than I could have ever imagined or achieved had it not been for these hurts that I experienced. I am not saying I want to do them again, but what I can say is that when life deals hard blows, and it will if you live long enough, the only place to turn to receive healing for your soul is to the healer, Jehovah-Rapha himself.
Let’s look at the steps set out in these verses in Proverbs. The first line is telling you to open your ears to hear the Word. This can be through reading, through worship music, through sermons or teaching. When going through hard times, guard what you are taking in. Some days I felt so on the edge of a flood of tears I had to be very careful what I was watching or putting in. Don’t get me wrong tears can be cleansing too, but you may have to be careful as to the timing of those tears. So don’t let yourself watch a sad movie if you are struggling with feeling sad all the time. Sometimes too during this time, I would feel so heavy that I would retreat to find something to watch that would just make me laugh. Not think, just laugh. When you are walking around with sadness brought on by grief or circumstances beyond your control I think it’s ok to check out of the thought processes and just sit down with something funny to make you laugh. But I go back to be sure you are hearing the Word every day too.
Then you receive the word. Opening your heart and mind to hear what God is saying to you. Even if answers aren’t coming, just getting in His presence and pouring your heart out to Him and reading and hearing what He has to say. Let His words penetrate your heart. And as you do, you will be surprised at the healing that will come to your soul. As you do these steps and you spend time with your Savior, and you fall into a posture of prayer, you will begin to find that sometimes, really all the time, it’s not about the answers we get from God. It’s just about God. And spending time with Him and asking Him that even if we don’t always get the physical healing we long for, for ourselves or for someone else, that we will receive the spiritual, deep in our souls healing that only He can give.
My friends, I am not trying to sound super spiritual here but I pray if you are going through a tough time, where the tears come too easy and the hurt feels raw and deep, I pray that you will turn to Jehovah-Rapha, the only one who can be healer of your soul!