Heal the Land to Heal the Heart
My family and I moved to China a few years ago to help with teenage orphan girls aging out of the orphanage system. Many of them were coming out with wounds to their hearts thinking nobody would ever want them, nobody cared about them, they would never amount to anything, etc. We felt called to go, but the task seemed overwhelming.
One of the things we felt we were to do for them was to get a farm. The wording we had as we moved forward with this was, “as we heal the land, we would heal the heart.”
In our view, God worked miracles to get us a farm in China, setting it up to make it livable, and to receive girls. We literally had to dig trash out of the ground to be able to plant crops. We saw a community of people come alongside us to help through manual labor and giving of materials. Finally, we got to sit beside orphan girls as they dug into the soil themselves. We believe God was healing their hearts as we looked to heal the land.
The Vice President Believes in Healing the Land
Just last week, Vice President Mike Pence commented on the healing of the land. President Trump asked him to say a few words at the daily press conference regarding the Corona virus. After sharing different things that have recently happened in preparation for the more people infected, he said, “I have no doubt that we will slow the spread, we will protect our most vulnerable, and we will heal our land.”
In a separate interview with CNBC, VP Pence twice again mentioned the belief that we will heal the land.
Christians Believe in Healing the Land
As Christians, we have the great promise in 2 Chronicles that if a plague comes, we can humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and repent of evil. And, if we do these things, we have assurances that God will hear from heaven and heal our land. Whether the Vice President was aware of it or not, he was giving Christians our marching orders.
We have a choice about whether we will allow this virus to continue to ravage our world. The solution is before us. The plague is upon us; will we gain God’s ear to bring healing to the world?
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
When Praying is Not Enough?
When we look at this passage, we come away with the awareness that it is more than just prayer that gets God’s attention. There are four commands in this verse, and only one is to pray.
Our nation is under a quarantine. Many of our enjoyments have been taken away. Restaurants and bars have been closed. Many of the businesses we work at have been shut down. We can’t gather together in each others homes, and church have now gone online.
Life is in upheaval. Will we accept these changes for the greater good of overcoming this virus, or will we fight and complain?
Humbling ourselves is not only recognizing our dependence on God, but it is also releasing our rights for the sake of a greater good. Jesus didn’t “consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). Humbling ourselves gets God’s attention.
Seek God’s Face
The first question you may have with this is, how is it different than praying. Praying is making our requests known to God; seeking His face is coming into His presence to be with Him. He isn’t our genie granting our wishes. God wants to be pursued, known, and loved.
For those who don’t know what this looks like, the best explanation would be to think of it like a teenager dreaming about their first love. It may be something like staring in awe, dreaming of what life together would be like, or thinking about how much you love Him.
You can do this by reminding yourself of how God has come through for you in the past. You can allow a worship song to play or listen to the Bible being read. Do things that allow your mind to practice Philippians 4:8. Seek His face by turning your attention to Him.
Turn From Wicked Ways
I think we understand the need of repentance for each believer. We need to also grasp the need of Christians to confess the sins going on in our nations. Paul tells us to pray for the our leaders that it may go well with you in the land (1 Timothy 2:1-4). I believe these prayers are obviously for the political leaders, but also for the societal leaders in media, education, businesses, arts community, etc.
As we look at our world and see the evil being done, how much of that is happening is because we failed to pray for our leaders. Let’s confess the sin of division. The division of political views, religious denominationalism, public versus home school choice, etc. Let’s break walls of division and find common ground, not the least of which is we are all created in God’s image.
Allow God to lead you through other sins. Speak life into those areas. Pray hope towards a solution. Ask God for wisdom for the leaders making decisions and wait to see if God gives you a special direction.
Heal the Land
There are many people scared during these times. Don’t let their fear turn your focus away from the Lord. We have our directives. Let’s gathers others to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. In doing so, may we experience a healing of the land.
And, by God’s grace may that healing also lead to a healing of hearts. May this be a start of a revival, a reformation, a revolution.
- White House transcript from March 24, 2020
- Vice President Pence’s Interview on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street from March 27, 2020
- How to Pray for Our Leaders