The average time it takes to recover from a tonsillectomy is 5-7 days. Open heart surgery? They say the initial recovery period is 6-8 weeks, and it can take many more months to heal completely. Regardless of how invasive it is, all surgery is followed by a time where the body heals. Most surgery recovery includes incision care, limited activity, extra rest, pain medication, and other rules that must be followed to insure that complications don’t set in.
We know this. Anyone who’s had surgery knows that the recovery process is slow and oftentimes frustrating, but necessary. Anyone who’s had surgery would also tell you they’ve disobeyed their doctor’s orders and tried to rush things. All that gets us is more pain and frustration. You can’t rush healing.
Why then do we fight so hard against the process of healing for our hearts? When our hearts are broken, when our dreams are shattered, when trust is betrayed, when death comes we want to rush through the healing process. We want to rush past the pain. We look for shortcuts and ways around the long journey of restoration.
We understand that physical healing takes time, but can’t seem to grasp the same concept when it comes to emotional healing. The simple fact that we need healing should tell us that it’s going to take some time. Healing is never instantaneous.
If you rush physical healing you can wind up with an infection, back in the hospital or, worst case scenario, even die. With emotional healing we can rush ahead, skip steps and pretend that we’re recovering faster than we actually are. We can act like we’re healed while hiding the fact that we are actually dying inside. The only difference between rushing physical and emotional healing is you can fake one and not the other.
I find myself in a recovery phase. And I want so desperately to rush through the process. I want to run ahead and skip steps. But I know that doing that will only leave me weak and dying.
The question was asked of me recently “Do you want relief or do you want to be healed”? I want to be healed. I know that relief is the quick fix, the easy way out but the slow process of healing brings strength and life.
When the pain becomes unbearable, when the nights become too long, when answers seem far away the temptation becomes so strong to throw in the towel, quit the process, and not trust God. But He can be trusted. Even when relief seems so far away. He promises us that joy comes in the morning, no matter how long the night may last.
So if you’re walking through the valley with me, let’s not run ahead. Let’s listen to the instructions from the Great Physician who longs to heal our hurting hearts. Let’s keep walking. Keep trusting. Keep breathing. Let’s be healed.