by Leigh Ann Dilley on July 13, 2023
But for those who revere my name, the sun of rigtheousness will rise with healing in His wings.
— Malachi 4:2
There is a play on words in this verse because "the sun" is really Jesus, the son of God.
It had been a tough week. Everywhere I turned, it seemed like God was exposing my sin to me. Especially the sin of hanging onto worries that are not mine to hang on to and praying for my own will to be done, instead of God's will. Disobedience to God's will is sin. What was even more discouraging was to see how my disobedience affected others around me.
Something like this seems to happen every time I pray David's prayer at the end of Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
On the surface of the heart, sin can be hard to detect. But when God's light shines, it goes deep and exposes sin within the layers of the heart that we may not even be aware of. Sigh, and to think I asked him to do this!
Confession restored my relationship with God, but what about my relationship with others? Self-forgiveness is harder yet! It's easy to let the evil one speak lies to you when you are vulnerable. These sins weighed heavy on me, like a weight in my heart. That's when I discovered the verse in Malachi 4:2, "But for those who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings."
God's word told me what I needed. It was the type of healing God promises that only He can provide.
When we surrender sin, troubles, or worry of any kind to God, it can leave a void in our hearts. Don't forget the next critical step. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill the void the excavated sin left behind. After receiving God's healing, the next verse from Malachi says:
And yoou will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.
— Malachi 4:3
Leaping calves is a silly, joyful image, isn't it? But that's what healing — and forgiveness — do: turn sorrows into joy.
There's a time to pray the prayer at the end of Psalm 139 and let God examine the heart. Every now and then, the heart needs a surgeon. It's good to allow God to cleanse you from time to time. It's a humbling process, but every time, in the end, the load is lighter. Jesus is light in the darkness, and that includes the depths of the heart where sin can stay hidden. Sin, brought into the light, is weakened. And the light of Jesus, or rather the "sun of righteousness," according to Malachi, rises and has healing in His wings.
What about the hurts in our hearts that won't heal? Sometimes the consequences of sin, or the sin of another, remain in our hearts even though our Savior forgives. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, "Paul says he was given a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him."
Paul asked the Lord three times to have it removed. Some wounds are deep and the evil one can use negative thoughts to bring us to despair. The Lord answered in verse 9, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."
This means there may be times when we do not get the physical or emotional healing we want according to our own will. Try not to get stuck here, this is a process, even for me. God tells us the healing we need to move forward comes from His grace and from His perfect power in our weakness. Do not allow the "messenger of Satan" to throw off your focus. Focus on participating in God's will instead of your own sorrow. This may be hard when we are in pain. We may never know all that God has done with His power behind the scenes, but what we can be sure of is God promises us grace and healing. Not one of God's promises has ever failed.