17 March, 2017

Emotional Healing

Ever been hurt by someone in the church? I'm not talking about a ball bat upside the head kind of hurt; although... Nah, can't go there!
No, I'm talking about where somebody said or did something to hurt you in your spirit, or in your emotions. Somebody betrayed a confidence, or told lies about you, or did something that just cut you deep inside.
I know you have been there. We all have.
This is one of the most painful hurts there is; when someone you love and trust just rips your heart out for you, stomps on it, kicks it around for awhile and then hands it back to you like nothing ever happened.
And you have probably thought, if not said, "I'll never let anyone hurt me like that again."
You are not alone.

Think how David must have felt. He was a loyal servant to King Saul.
He would do anything he could to protect his King. He ministered to him in song when he was troubled. He fought for him when his kingdom was challenged. This was his king, and David honored him. He was best friends with Jonathon, the king’s son.
But Saul became enraged and jealous and threatened by David, and he sought to kill him.
We read about how David ran for his life. We read how he had the opportunity more than once to kill Saul, but he would not touch the anointed of God. He was still loyal, even though he was considered the enemy. But can you imagine how David must have felt on the inside?
Man, I cannot imagine the emotional struggle that must have gone on within him. Can you imagine the emotional roller coaster he must have gone on?

This story causes me to think about my own pain and how I deal with it. There have been times that I have had the opportunity to plunge in the dagger, so to speak, while the one who hurt me was down. It would be so easy to do. But friend, can I tell you, that does not ease the pain! It will only get worse. The only way to get over the pain is to allow Jesus to do some spiritual surgery on your soul. It begins with forgiveness. Even if the person(s) who hurt you have never apologized, we must forgive them anyway. I learned a long time ago that forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself. (Think on that awhile, you'll figure it out.)

Once you have forgiven, then you must open yourself up to the healing work of Jesus.
I know... that is not easy to do. Because to open yourself up means you make yourself vulnerable again. But it must be done. I remember a friend of mine from days gone by. He had three slugs from a 38 in his back. He carried them around for years. He told everyone he carried them as "a badge of honor" as he would proudly show everyone the scars and the knots that were plainly visible when he removed his shirt. But the truth of the matter was, he was afraid to have surgery. He was afraid to trust a doctor to take them out of him. After years of carrying these bullets in his body, he finally agreed to have them removed. I remember the days after the surgery when he was in pain and he was so mad at me for talking him into having them removed. I thought he was going to kill me... literally. But something happened.
After a few days the pain subsided, the wounds healed and one day he told me, "Dago, thanks for pushing me to have this done. I feel better than I have in years." He admitted that his "badge of honor" had been giving him pain every single day for years. He told me that he had not been able to sleep because when he would roll over on his back the pressure on those slugs was excruciating. Now he was sleeping well and moving around pain-free for the first time in many years.

I wonder how many of us have our own "badge of honor". Things that we carry around and tell others about almost boasting about how we survived. We put on a false air, but the truth is, we are in pain. The pain is hidden inside, and no one knows it is there but us. We refuse to acknowledge the pain, because that shows our weakness or vulnerable side... or maybe our fears. But the pain is there.

It is time for healing.
It is time to allow the Holy Spirit into those areas we have kept guarded and hidden away.
It is time to swallow our pride and admit to God that we are afraid, but that we need to have those "bullets" from the past removed from our lives.
God is ready and willing to heal us... but we have to allow him to.
Will you allow the Holy Spirit to begin that healing process in you?
I won't lie. It is often a painful process.
But there is peace that is only available at the end of the suffering.

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