“Don’t be afraid. Dear Zion, don’t despair. Your God is present among you, He is with you; a strong warrior, a mighty warrior ready to save you. He will take great delight in you, and He will calm you, and quiet you, with his love, and He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:16-17)
I’m sure that as you were reading Zephaniah’s description of God’s compassionate tenderness towards you, you felt the embrace of His subtle and gentle warmth quietly holding you. It often manifests itself when you read scriptures like this; like a soft whisper to your ear, telling you, “Shhhhh…I’m right here, right besides you. It’s ok; you can cry it all out…I know you’re hurting. I won’t let you fall, I won’t let go. I have you.” It’s such a familiar feeling that, time and time again, gently caressed you when you were hit with one of life’s blows. And like a child who has just suffered a wound, your first reaction in the midst of your pain was and is to seek out His warm embrace; because experience has taught you that He’s always there, ready to receive you; ready to soothe you as your initial shock and pain dissipate to the tone of His whisper.
Friends, we all know that there is no greater alleviation than the one provided by His calming comfort and His caressing consolation. As mentioned in Zephaniah, He really does quiet us. He reduces our restless weeping to stillness, then sleeping; as He rocks us back and forth in the cradle of His reassurance. As beautiful as this is, and as true as it has consistently been, we must always remember that it is only the first step in the process of His healing. More often than not, we confuse His comforting hand with His healing hand. Yes, He’s embraced you. Yes, He’s quieted and comforted you, yet through these expressions of His fatherhood, He is only addressing your cry and your moan, but the actual healing process begins when He addresses your wound and your affliction. Friend, in order for Him to address your wound, it needs to be exposed. You must willingly expose it, making it ‘vulnerable’ to His touch and His care. No one expressed this better than the psalmist when he wrote, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)” If you’ve ever treated or bandaged a wound, irrespective of the wound’s severity, you know that it must be handled, touched, cleaned, and pressured. If you ever witness emergency room doctors in action, you’ll observe that, the more aggressive the wound’s nature, the more aggressive the treatment’s nature. In the natural, our tendency is to cover up a fresh wound, not so much to stop the bleeding or as a preventive measure against infection, but as a ‘protective instinct’ to keep others from touching it or even getting close to it. If you’re a parent with young active children, you probably experience this often; they suffer a cut, come to you, their most consistent and effective source of comfort, crying, but when it’s time for you to treat the cut, they resist you. Why? Because it hurts. Healing’s touch always initially aggravates the pain as it confronts the injury behind it. When God begins His healing process, the residue of bad memories, resentment, ‘unforgiveness’, and bitterness are always stirred up as they are washed. Yet, our tendency is to shy away or resist His touch because we don’t want to relive the trauma. But as we know in the natural, an unattended wound will lead to infection, infection will lead to sickness, and sickness will lead to death; and in most cases, a preventable death. Friend, resisting God’s healing will leave an open door to an erroneous thought. An erroneous thought will lead you to an erroneous action, sin, and sin will always lead you to death; and in most cases in the kingdom, a preventable death. Friend, if you’re willingly vulnerable to His comfort, then be willingly vulnerable to His healing.