My husband is now 8 days post-op from his knee replacement surgery. It’s not an easy recovery, and during this stage of the game it is hard to imagine the “other side” of the pain. Yet, we hold on to the hope that on the other side of the pain lies a new-found freedom of movement and an ability to function more fully – similar to the way he once did before the damage to his knee incurred from too many years of pounding the pavement.
As I observe, and in a way participate in this process with him – I have become more keenly aware of two necessary components of healing. The first, and most important part of healing is what God does in the process. It’s amazes me what damage the body can undergo (his leg was sawed, hammered, sanded, glued)… and then find a way to heal – one cell at a time. The human body is amazingly complex and we truly are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” – (Psalm 139:14) I stand in awe at the intricate timing of all that happens as a new life forms – such as the “simple” fact that a fetus’ intestines first grow outside of their abdomen…and that at just the right time in the first trimester as the intestines return to the abdominal cavity, they undergo a 180° counterclockwise rotation. Who tells them to rotate like that?
The connection and working together of the bones, ligaments, tendons, veins, and capillaries brings me to my knees before our author, designer and creator. And how is it possible that the arteries, capillaries and veins in a human body – if put end to end would reach 60,000 miles, or 2 ½ times around the world? Only God. Yes, God is the most important factor for our healing – physically, spiritually and emotionally. Without Him, there is no hope. With him, there can not only be physical, emotional and spiritual healing…but He also holds the promise to eternal life.
However, we must also do our part in the healing process – and it is hard work. I realize that if my husband doesn’t do his work in this process, his ability to function in the way he hopes and intends will be greatly hampered, incomplete and unsuccessful. He has to push through pain toward new levels of motility, be very humble in receiving help, and be consistent in processes that are very much out of his comfort zone. (He’s a good patient 🙂 ) This is true not only in physically healing, but also in emotional and spiritual healing. It takes hard work to heal from any hurt, trauma and pain we experience.
The apostle Paul states this dual working together clearly in numerous scriptures such as the following:
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
God will always do his part in our healing. He may not do it in the same way we think He should or would but His promises will never fail us. The bigger question is whether we do our part. It’s hard…but the “other side of the pain” leads to a freedom to function in the way God intended for us.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.