You First

Dear One,

Have you ever prayed/hoped for healing and wondered why it didn’t come, only to later realize you were to be an active participant in bringing it about? I have. And I find myself experiencing it right this minute in regard to our nation here in the U.S.

I think the one thing we can all agree on right now is this: we need healing.
But are we willing to do what it takes to see that healing come our way? Hmm. I’m honestly not sure.

Healing is rarely pain-free. In fact, mostly it’s long and sometimes arduous, and always demands courage. Many times we simply don’t want to do that which will usher it in, be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relational, environmental, or governmental. Can I get an amen?

We’re praying for healing, yes, even longing for it, but we must also actively work for it. As much as we want the magic wand variety, healing is often a fruit of our actions in cooperation with God and others.

During a recent reading of Isaiah 58, I noticed the word “then” written five times in relation to a healing and wholeness people were desiring, but not yet experiencing.

They desperately wanted God to act – but God seemed to say, “you first.”  

  • Share your food with people who have none.
  • Give those who are homeless a space in your home.
  • Give clothes to those who need them.
  • Don’t neglect your own family.

“Then, oh then, your healing …”(v.6-8)

  • Remove the yoke of oppression from the downtrodden among you.
  • Stop accusing others.
  • Do away with mean and inflammatory speech (hello!).
  • Make sure that the hungry and oppressed have all that they need.

“Then, oh then, your light … (v.9-11)

In response to “then, oh then,” I find myself whining, “why, oh why?”

I want the easy way out. I don’t want to have to do something in order for healing to happen, whether it be eating brussel sprouts, wearing a mask, guarding my mind, holding my tongue, asking forgiveness, actively listening, loving my enemies, opening my heart/wallet/home/mind/schedule.

Can’t we just pray? Close our eyes tight and wish with all our might?

No we cannot.

We are in a then, oh then time, my friend. 
then, oh then – if and when, kind of time. 

God is waiting on us.
You first: Our Little Life Words of the week. 



  • In what areas are you asking/hoping for healing (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relational, environmental, governmental)?
  • What, do you believe, is your part to do in bringing it about? What might be God’s instructive word to you?


  • Identify one thing (big or small) that leads to healing, then do it. 



  • Begin asking God how you can participate in bringing about the healing you seek. Then listen in and follow through.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Or you. You first :).
I have an idea – how ’bout we do it together on the count of three?

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