In Exodus 23, we tune in to the soliloquy of when God is instructing His people about going to the promised land. Starting in verse 20, God tells them, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. (22) If you listen carefully to what my angel says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.” He goes on to talk about how he will drive out the peoples before them. But verses 29-30 caught my attention:
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
Wow. We want God to do everything, miraculously, “right quick,” as my Appalachian friends would say (Okay, I’ve adopted that phrase as well. That’s how my mom can tell I’ve been in East Kentucky for four years!). But God’s not all about the right quick, the immediate. Sure, it happened in the New Testament, when Jesus commanded the crippled to get up and walk or the blind to see. It still happens today. But the Israelites couldn’t handle the immediate, and God knew what would happen if they did. They didn’t.
I think about my own body, affected by Multiple Sclerosis and lack of taking care of my body for so many years, especially up front. God probably could heal me with a touch. But He has told me that He won’t. Basically, He has told me that I’m standing at the edge of the ocean, ankle deep. I just want to run in, but God doesn’t want that. Jesus will hold my hand as I take one step after another, little by little, until I’m immersed in the water. I sometimes imagine the Holy Spirit as water. If we’re standing in the water, we still have the majority of control. But once we’re immersed, the ocean can take us where it will. [Song: Oceans] God told me that I will not get knocked over by the waves, though they come against me. I realize that if I were to run into the ocean, I would fall almost immediately. There’s a reason I’m being healed little by little.
Here is some proof I have: One of my first symptoms of MS was a lack of fine touch. I have that now, and I can do my daughter’s hair! I mean, she’s a wiggly toddler now, but I CAN do it. (Especially if I’m tag-teaming with someone else who distracts her!) That happened last September. I thought more things would be happening immediately then, but I know better now.
Most recent proof? I usually stop drinking water between 6 and 7 at night, because otherwise it’s 3+ trips to the bathroom. I am straight-cathed every day. It used to be multiple times a day, but now amounts are way less! A year ago, we were getting 250 CC’s each time. Now? Anywhere from 180 (if I’ve been hydrating) to 80! I drank water until after 9 pm last night, and I ONLY GOT UP ONCE. And that was about the time my taking-medicine-before-bed stuff runs through my system. I am now being cathed once daily, and it has recently been 100 CC’s most days. God is healing my bladder!
Every day, I pray, “Thank you, God, for my healing and restoration!” I believe I have been healed by the Spirit. I am no longer hospitalized for strep or a cold, as I was soon before and after Lydia was born. I have scripture plastered on my bathroom wall with post-its and pieces of paper taped up (my bathroom is the only inner room I could find in my house that I could get at. See the movie “War Room” for why I do this).
Anyway, getting back to the topic I started with. God sees the big picture, and he knows what would happen if we all got what we wanted immediately. I have asked more people to pray for my healing and restoration, as well. God hears us. He’s told me so!
Press on, friends! God has everything under control!