Healing is coming...
Over the last few weeks Tiffany and I have gone through many emotions, pains, and questions as seemingly another road to parenting closed. As I tried to lead both of us through this I found myself trying to manage/alleviate the pain or simply stating some theological quote of “God is in control” both of which didn’t help.
Adding to the confusion, most thoughts on emotional/spiritual/social healing is unhelpful at best and more often destructive. It far too often is “christianese” nuanced self-help or moralistic philosophicalism. It’s hardly rooted in the Gospel. Jesus gave us the incredible gift of the Gospel not just to save us but to sustain us. It is often said and often forgotten “at the root of every sin is a disbelief in the Gospel.” My prayer is that what I have learned in leading Tiffany through this tough season will help you whether applied personally or to help someone else.
Embrace the pain- Most people simply want the pain stopped or at least alleviated, not the problem fixed. In John chapter 11, Jesus showed what it meant to embrace the pain with hope. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept. He could have had an incredible theological answer of why and how it will make everything better but instead he embraced the pain and wept. Pain lets you know that something has gone wrong. It may not be caused by you but because of the broken world we live in, sin hurts.
Declare & Dwell in the Gospel- 1 Corinthians 15 “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.” The gospel is not simply the entrance in but also the sustaining within. You never outgrow your need for the Gospel. The Gospel is applicable to every aspect of life.
Cling to joy, not happiness- Philippians 2:1-2 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Happiness is a fleeting emotion based on circumstances; joy is constant and rooted in Jesus.
Find your identity in Jesus- Gal. 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” When our identity is found in Jesus we no longer have to perform or pretend but simply pursue Him. He chose you before you did anything good or bad. The victory is won. Find your identity in that.
Long for Jesus return- 1 Thess 4:13-18. There are three parts to salvation: (1) We were saved from the Penalty of sin, (2) We are saved from the Power of sin, and (3) We will be saved from the Presence of sin. This will free people to realize that even though the cross is enough, it is not the Act 3 climax which makes everything perfect. The effects of sin hurt and are often overwhelming, but we have much hope in the return of Jesus, when we are saved from the presence of sin. The “something that is desperately wrong” will be redeemed when Jesus returns for us. Jesus is enough and He is worth it, find hope in that.
Healing is often a long, difficult process. Know that pain is good because it tells you that something is desperately wrong, but Jesus is enough so cling to the Gospel.