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Jesus: Our Everlasting


Joy: The Joy of Healing (and His Presence in Our Waiting)

Thursday, December 21 | by Dr. Jim Lemons

Today's Reading

Luke 18:35-43

I've always been a little fearful of drive-through car washes. (Okay, even theologians and professors are entitled to their own little phobias in life.) Going through those dangerous-looking, dark tunnels of giant, swirling brushes and the deafening, pounding streams of exploding jets of water is always a little scary for me. I'm always relieved to get through to the peace and quiet of the "other side."

The fact is that today, all of us can find ourselves facing some pretty scary "tunnel times" in life, although the "tunnels" now take on new forms. The "dangerously dark tunnels" now emerge as scary situations that all of us are often forced to enter into. These are those ominous "car wash tunnel times" that arrive in frightening forms of trial, tribulation, adversity…and maybe times when we cry out to our Messiah King for some healing like the blind beggar in our advent text for today: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

 And don't we always hope and pray that we can quickly get through to the "other side," and a little peace and quiet and the joy that comes from relief and healing?

For me, the "tunnel" I've had to "drive through" these past two years has been the passageway of post-shingles nerve damage. The technical term is "postherpetic neuralgia." It's the nerve damage pain that persists following a shingles attack, and it can last for months or even years. My attack started in my left eye and continued up my left forehead to the top of my scalp. And unfortunately, it looks like the nerve damage and pain are going to be permanent.

For two years now, I've been learning to live with pain and, in the meantime, persistently praying for some relief and healing. And an ongoing period of waiting for answered prayer is never an easy "tunnel" to traverse, is it? This has been a pretty tough journey for me. I'm sure many of you echo that sentiment because you, too, find yourself "driving through" some kind of painful "car wash tunnel" experience in your life right now. Maybe you've been persistently praying for some kind of relief and healing in your own life right now.

What do we do when we are plunged into one of those "car wash tunnel" times in life? The last time I drove through a car wash, I noticed an interesting sign at the entrance. It informed me of the following important instructions to follow:


That sign reminds me of some pretty good advice for navigating those "car wash tunnel times" in life. Sometimes, the best advice to heed, the best instruction to follow, is to simply "let go and let God" by putting our life "in neutral," resting in the Lord, and taking our "hands off the wheel and feet off the pedal" in our feeble attempts to control life and the "tunneling" circumstances that life often thrusts us into.

The good thing about car washes is that when you do get through to the "other side," your car comes out sparkling clean, like new. Sometimes, God graciously grants us the joy of temporal relief from our trials, tribulations, adversities, and pain. And we receive the healing we've been praying for. And we come out clean and refreshed, like new, just like the blind beggar in today's story, whose healing resulted in joyful praise of God! "Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God."

Our ultimate healing may have to wait for that eternal joy of healing we will only find in the Lord’s presence in glory one day. But in the meantime, we "let go and let God."

But oftentimes, healing might not come in the here and now, and our ultimate healing may have to wait for that eternal joy of healing we will only find in the Lord's presence in glory one day. But in the meantime, we "let go and let God." We just keep looking to Him, trusting Him, resting in Him, and realizing that as we let Him have control, His grace is all amazing and all-sufficient and all-sustaining where we can find joy even in the midst of our trials (James 1:2-4). If you find yourself in a "car wash tunnel time" this Christmas season, hang in there…the Lord is always hanging on to you. And even in the midst of your "car wash experience," don't ever forget this: God's grip never slips!

Dr. Jim Lemons serves as the Master of Arts in Theological Studies Program Director at Dallas Baptist University.

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