Over the past few weeks, a good friend and I have been poking fun at the lyrics of Michael W. Smith’s “Healing Rain.” Specifically the part in the bridge where “Smitty” sings the phrase “I’m not afraid of healing rain!” “Who would be afraid of healing rain?” We’d joke. What I didn’t consider, though, is that one must be hurting in order to need healing. I then realized that we have all been hurt. We’ve all caused ourselves and others pain. We’ve all done wrong by God and are in need of His grace. We all have injured spirits and are in need of healing. If the healing of one’s spirit is anything like the healing of one’s body, the process can be very painful and that is very good reason to be afraid.
There’s no better example of this than the pain a 3rd degree burn victim has to go through in order to be healed. Imagine that your body has been severely burned. You are experiencing a pain that is completely indescribable to others. People around you can see that you are hurting but have no way of fully understanding your agony. Your skin and flesh are charred and dead. Even the scent of your wounds is enough to turn stomachs. Undoubtedly, you’d eventually find yourself at the E.R. The doctor gives you the disappointing news that you cannot be healed right away. He tells you that you must wait until your body and mind are ready to withstand the grueling treatment. So for now, they just pump you full of pain killers.
So, you wait,
As you lay there, your body covered in a blackened veil of what was once you, you consider your predicament. Trapped in your own mind, you wish that you never had to know this pain. Your fear of the coming treatment brings you to tears daily. You are frightened and alone. After days of this, you become broken. You accept that you cannot undo what it was that put you in this state of torment. You also accept that you can’t spend the rest of your life in the false comfort of a drug-induced haze. You acknowledge that, on your own, there is nothing you can do to get through this. You put aside your fears of the coming treatment and give your trust to the one who will be healing you.
The day finally arrives. The doctor removes you from your bed and carries to a tub. He gently places you in the water. He places a warm, wet sponge against your skin… and wipes away the old, dead flesh. The pain is excruciating. You cry out for the doctor and he assures you that it’s ok. He comforts you and reminds you that this pain is for the best. For hours, the agony persists and all the while you hear “It’s alright, I am with you.”
Days later, the primary shock of the treatment wears off. There is still pain, but now you can more clearly see that it is working. You slowly become built up from a broken pile of body to a fully functional human being. Every day brings its struggles, but now you know where to turn when the pain becomes too great.