Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IOW: Healing Soul Wounds

Esthermay is hosting In Other Words at her blog The Heart of a Pastor's Wife. Visit her to read more posts for today's quote and to post your own.
For most of this century we have wrongly defined soul wounds as psychological disorders and delegated their treatment to trained specialties. Damaged psyches aren't the problem. The problem is the disconnected souls."
~Larry Crabb
Connecting: Healing Ourselves and Our Relationships
I love Larry Crabb's phrase "soul wounds." It so completely defines the hurts that influence and/or change a person ~ those wounds that penetrate so deeply as to have the power to cripple a life: an abused child who has been hurt by one who should have been protecting her and by the ones who should have stepped in to help her heal; a parent of a child who has turned away into darkness and misery; an abandoned, frightened woman on her own for the first time in her adult life; a widow struggling to live a life without her dearest earthly companion; a church member so terribly torn down by those in the Body supposedly placed there to build her up. These are wounds not caused by physical illness such as a chemical imbalance, but by heart-rending, breath-taking spiritual pain.

These wounds can never be truly healed by anyone other than a soul "Physician."

Popular psychology bases some of its philosophy on the proverb: "As he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). It is true that our thought patterns affect our emotions and our perspective of our lives, but positive thinking in and of itself is self-delusion.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned that in whatever state I am, to be content. (Philippians 4:11)
The only way the apostle Paul was able to say those words and mean them was through his intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. His ability to face horrendous circumstances was directly connected to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
All believers have the same ability to deal with the deep soul wounds and be healed by the Great Physician. Sometimes we need the assistance of a Godly counselor ~ but only if that counselor points to God as the Source of healing and not to some positive thinking mumbo-jumbo. That counselor should encourage deep meditation on the Scripture, God's love letter to His Beloved. That counselor must ask the question Jesus asked the man at the Pool of Bethesda:
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"

The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming another steps down before me."

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took his bed, and walked. (John 5:5-9)
This man answered Jesus with self-pity...but his own pity was not what healed him. It was the compassion of the Lord. The Woman's Study Bible, © 1995 Thomas Nelson, Inc., shares this insight:
Because Jesus is gracious and knows your deepest desires, He often cuts through your weeping and self-martydom and puts you to the test. "Get up," He says. "Take your problem and move on. Do not wait for other people to pity you. Get up."

If you are in need of a touch from the Lord, ask yourself if you are so eager to be changed that you are willing to do something about your situation. When you let God know you are obedient to His will and eager to do whatever it takes for you to be whole, He will send Jesus in the form of a person, a verse from His Word, or a new thought in your mind. Act upon what God tells you to do. He made you, and He knows how to fix precisely what is broken within you.

Finally, when you feel God's power bring about positive changes in your life, do not let doubters convince you these changes are only coincidence. Walk firmly away as did the man with his mat under his arm and say simply, "Jesus healed me."
Like the man suffering his infirmity for thirty-eight years, many soul wounds are not quickly healed. But the fact is they can be healed. Jesus will work to make the wounded whole again when we submit to Him. If God indicates His chooses to use an individual to help you through your particular circumstances, seek counsel from wise, mature Christians.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:8)
Christian counseling provides the individual with healing, balance, and wholeness through a variety of methods...but is always marked by reliance on the Lord as the Great Physician. ~ The Woman's Study Bible, © 1995 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

But ultimately, every believer's resident Counselor is the Holy Spirit. We must reconnect our souls to Him to heal our wounds and our relationships. Trust Him, Jesus sent Him for that very purpose.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell yo things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take care of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)


Esthermay said...

I LOVE where you took this quote. We are on the same proverbial page!

I’ve based a great deal of my own counseling practice on Proverbs 23:7 and Philippians 4:11. Albert Ellis may have pioneered the cognitive therapy technique in “popular psychology,” but GOD championed the Gospel that directs and counsels us toward a Heart Change that can indeed forever alter our thinking and behavior.

HE alone is the Wonderful Counselor and Great Physician.

A great many “soul” wounds that society deems “mental illness” (and thereby necessitating drugs) would simply disappear if we recognized this!

Not all of them – but certainly more than some secular counselors would care to admit.

WONDERFUL lesson here.
Thank you.

Mariposa said...

God guided me to be here!

I have been reflecting for the past days now...and without looking into it, I got into an old WFW post of mine with your comment...and you were sharing how your reflected on the section for Patience in that book In Pursuit of Godliness (not so sure if I got the title accurately...) and that is all I need to feel good and to continue what I am doing. You have no idead how much that comment of yours lifted me up!

So I am here...

I will go visit Esthermay now to check more...

I love this post...very wonderful and I will be coming back for sure to read more.

God bless you!

Michelle Bentham said...

Great Post, Patricia! "But ultimately, every believer's resident Counselor is the Holy Spirit. We must reconnect our souls to Him to heal our wounds and our relationships. Trust Him, Jesus sent Him for that very purpose." AMEN. We're doing Bible study on Wednesdays - stop by and check it out at my blog. Would love to have you join.

Love it. I've missed coming by --- perhaps now that I am giving up some things that keep me "busy" I can start reading more and writing as well. Love to you.


Anonymous said...

I am a Christian who is seeking God's guidance and direction through a horrendous time in my life. Thanks for the words of Light that has illuminated my path. God bless!