One of the many names of God is Jehovah Rapha, which means “the God who heals.” In Hebrew the word rapha means to make whole, to completely mend and repair.
Throughout history people have walked around with gaping wounds in their hearts. People cause wounds to one another, making decisions which inflict pain on themselves and on others. We’ve all heard the saying, “Hurt people hurt people.”
Jesus said in Luke 6:45,
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
But what happens when we have a wound, a hole in our heart? How can we store up good things when they bleed out just as fast as we can put them in?
The bleeding looks like rants on Facebook or being that needy friend that eventually people start to avoid. It becomes addictions and distractions. We make idols of our jobs, our stuff, or our kids. Marriages fall apart and people disappoint one another, and the wounds get bigger and even become contagious.
How do we heal?
Psalm 147:3-5, 11 says,
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power…the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
We have choices. We can go through life with our exposed wound bleeding over everyone that we come in contact with. Or we can put a bandage over it in public while it heals.
Recently, I fell while jogging. I scraped my knee and my hands where I hit the sidewalk and I was reminded of the need to cover my scrapes in public to protect myself and others. At first, I didn’t put a covering over the wound on my knee and I ruined a pair of pants and inflicted extra pain on myself. I didn’t cover it because I thought it had stopped bleeding, but I was wrong. I hadn’t correctly assessed the severity of the wound.
So, I covered it, limped a little, and got on with my day. Then, once back at home where it was safe to leave it open to the air, the wound began to heal and scab over. You see, a bandage may protect us from the bacteria of the world and encourage slow healing, but we must allow the air to get to the painful places for proper healing, for new skin to form.
God is our great healer. Psalm 120:1 says, “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” In his presence, we are safe to remove the covering over our broken heart and allow him to put the salve on that will promote true healing.
Hebrews 4:16 says,
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
He may provide that healing through trained professional Christian counselors or friends that are wise in his ways. But his most efficient work is done when we put our trust in his unfailing love.
We do this by removing all the coverings over our wounds to let God breathe on them.
He will have mercy on you. He will always show up, for he is the great physician. He is the safe place for our hurts to be exposed and for the healing process to take place. We must take the time to sit with him, sit in his word, and listen. Read the Psalms that show King David’s broken heart, and write your own psalm to God. Let the Jehovah Rapha in to restore your soul.
Psalm 103:2-5 says,
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”