The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them.
There is a movie, The Neverending Story, in which a character says of another’s injuries “It has to hurt if it’s to heal.” Sometimes, God must wound in order to heal. Those in medical fields understand this better than most. Sometimes violence must be done to a body — cutting open and cutting out of a part — in order for healing of the whole to progress. And the reality is that God must sometimes wound a nation in order to heal it. In point of fact, nations seldom return to worship of the true and living God unless He allows them to see how worthless their idols are and recognize how much pain they are in.
As with nations, so with individuals. God must sometimes allow us to feel our pain; to be injured before He can heal us in earnest. It is not that He is unwilling to heal or that He is somehow unable, but that we sometimes fail to recognize that we have been wounded. Sometimes, God must excise things from our lives in order to further heal. I have seen friendships cut out of my life and some sort of healing follow on the heels of that removal. I have seen pass-times and hobbies fall by the wayside only to realize later that they were a part of what was causing some pain in my life.
Sometimes God must hurt to heal. And I need to keep this in mind. It is not that I am enduring anything that seems exceptionally painful at the moment, but that I have asked God to heal me on a level at which no one else can get. I have asked Him to mend my spirit and soul and make them fit to walk the streets of Heaven. This healing may involve pain. It has already, so I have no reason to think it may not again. I need to remember that God will only hurt in order to heal. He will only remove in order that something else might fill that space. If God is hurting, let me place myself in God’s hands and wait His healing. It will surely come.