By Van Moody
What does it mean to be a healer? To be a healer means to be a fixer. A healer is a person who can cure a disease or injury, or who mends or repairs something. And that describes just about all of us. Every single one of us is broken and in need of mending, if not physically, then emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. We are each of us, in our own way, diseased. The word diseased sounds terrible, doesn’t it? When I hear the word disease, I can quickly conjure up awful images of damaged flesh or broken bones. But at its core, disease simply means “dis-ease,” or something that causes distress or anguish.
Dis-ease can be anything from physical illness to mental illness, grief at the loss of a loved one or disappointment in a failed relationship, difficulties at work or financial struggles, or any of a thousand other problems. Life can sometimes feel like a long string of unexpected challenges, and we’re left in the wake, struggling to stay afloat. We need a life jacket and a helping hand to recover from these bumps and bruises that leave us feeling tender and sometimes feeling scarred. We’ve all been there. Michael Hyatt once said we’re either in a crisis, just coming out of a crisis, or about to go into a crisis. Life doesn’t happen without problems—it happens in the midst of those problems. And when we’re walking with the Lord, those problems should drive us to our knees to ask Him for help.
The truth is, to live out the abundant life God has promised, we need a fixer and a healer. God is the one who can rescue us, fix us at all levels, and heal us from our dis-ease. Anything else is a temporary Band-Aid.
” God is the one who can rescue us, fix us at all levels, and heal us from our dis-ease. “
With the story of Moses and the branch comes the first mention of healing in Scripture, and it’s a clue to the identity and nature of God. He was revealing an important part of who He is—a God who loves His people and who is pledging to keep them from dis-ease. God is the healer who can lead you through a bad situation and into a land flowing with milk and honey. God did it for the nation of Israel, and He does it in the life of anyone who commits to living for Him. The wilderness is school, a season when God is molding you, shaping you, and preparing you for what He is bringing you to. There is a purpose for the trek through the wilderness. You cannot step into the bountiful land He has prepared for you without having gone through the wilderness, because without the wilderness you won’t be ready for the land.
This process takes time. We want God to turn our circumstances around quickly. We want God to take us from no place to the best place. When your wilderness experience hits, you might wonder if you’re good enough, if you’re headed in the right direction, and if you have the strength and resolve to endure. We want God to make the situation perfect and easy overnight, but God doesn’t work like that. Tests and trials in a wilderness season means God is shaping you and molding you for what lies ahead. Nothing is wrong—you’re just going through your wilderness season.
This jaunt into the wilderness was not a mistake on God’s part for the people of Israel. There was no miscalculation in the navigation system. God was deliberately leading them into the wilderness because He knew His beloved people needed challenging new experiences in order to grow and mature and really get to know Him.
Trials have a way of revealing the contents of the human heart. The people of Israel’s reaction to their test at Marah clearly revealed the condition of their hearts. As soon as they ran into a problem, they began to complain instead of trust God. Instead of asking, “How is God going to do this?” the question was, “What are we going to drink?”
Because He cares, God allows us to come to places of testing to see if we will trust Him. Based on previous miracles, we should! The people of Israel had experienced incredible miracles of deliverance a few days prior, but somehow their trust in God had already faded. Yet they were traveling under the leadership of a God who loved them, who was watching over them and taking care of them, and who was their healer.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear,” said Jesus. “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
If God takes care of the birds and the flowers, caring for them by feeding them and healing them, He will certainly take care of His people. God allows us to come to places of testing to see if we will trust Him, but so often we don’t. So the Lord tests us by sending us into the wilderness to encourage spiritual growth and to bring the best out of us.
The attitude we take toward the test and the challenges will determine what direction in life we go. What life does to us depends on what life finds in us. When these situations come, if we trust God, we will pass the test and grow. But if we mumble, grumble, and complain, we will fail the test and remain right there. Complaining never solves the problem. If all you do is complain and run away, you’ll take the same bricks you carried with you out of Egypt into a new situation, and ultimately build for yourself the identical house you lived in as a slave in Egypt. Instead, those bitter situations of life, like the bitter waters of Marah, are designed to drive us to the Lord. He wants us to cry out for Him, not complain about Him.
Taken from Desired by God by Van Moody. Copyright © 2018 by Van Moody. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.
Van Moody serves as pastor of The Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, he is on the board of Joel Osteen’s Champions Network, is a member of Dr. Oz’s Core Team, and is an associate trainer in Japan for Dr. John C. Maxwell’s EQUIP leadership organization. Moody, his wife, Ty, and their children, Eden Sydney and Ethan Isaiah, live in Birmingham, Alabama.