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
I believe God hears prayers, I believe He will come through for us in a shortest time and this calamity shall over pass.
May it be so!
Wow, I have to point out two things that were spoken to me through this post. The first is how you discussed 2 Chronicles 7:14. God really must be telling me something with that verse, because two of my Christian penpals from Africa included that verse in their emails, and they don’t even know each other. So they each sent it separately. I was trying to obey it, but felt like I was missing something. So how you broke it down really made it more understandable, especially with how to humble myself. I never understood what that looked like in this situation, so that helps alot. I find myself getting so overwhelmed by it all, though. Not by your descriptions, but by the verse itself and what it requires. I feel I can’t keep up. I repent repeatedly, but only sense the weight of my own sins, plus our country’s sins as an unbearable burden heaped upon me, with no peace at all. And I have a hard time concentrating on even getting the words out, even with seeking closeness with God. I’m quite weary. Of course, I am just weary with life, dealing with the chronic illnesses my mom and I both have (my mom’s being possibly life-threatening) and loneliness (even before the coronavirus shutdown), so that probably contributes to it. But how do I become successful at this without burning out? I want to be pleasing to God and obedient to Him.
The second way this post spoke to me was through the intro affirming me of God’s love. Last night, I must confess, I was angry with God about something, basically leading me to feeling very unloved by Him, which made my aching longing for Him just intensify more but feel totally hopeless. I have started making the practice of writing letters to God, expressing my feelings, asking questions, confiding, etc, so that’s what I did with what I was feeling last night. I ended the letter with, “Do you have any bit of affection left in your heart for me? Please respond.” Eventually, I decided to open my emails, and I immediately saw yours, with the words, “Rachel, God loves you!”. I was stunned. When I then opened it to read the rest, I was amazed with seeing, “God sees you…”. That was a direct answer to one of my other questions in my letter to Him asking, “Do you see my despair? Do you see my hurt?” I love it! May I still ask you to pray for me, though? I have a difficult time ever fulling believing God loves me or has any kind of affection for me. Even if He tells me through various means, I still doubt, because I assume it’s just people painting Him up to be that way, when He really isn’t. I can’t trust my own random thoughts that come to me of Him enjoying me, for example, since I don’t know whether they are from God or not. It could just be my own imagination, since I long for Him so much. And I don’t perceive Him as being affectionate and loving in most of Scripture. And the parts where He is, I don’t know if they really apply to me, since they were written for the ancient Jews of that time, or to specific people, like Abraham. It’s like I need constant reminders from Him, as I start to doubt soon after receiving any one of them. I hope I am not opening myself up to rebuke or criticism by being this transparent, but I am really struggling, especially lately. But anyway, I wanted to thank you for this post. It helps in many ways. And I believe God is speaking to me through it.