A fellow youth leader shared with us a profound idea…we can go to the doctor for wounds of the body but to whom can we go for wounds of the heart?
Jesus’ ministry was full of not only physical healing but attention to inner healing. When the friends of the paralyzed man lowered him down on a mat to Jesus, before Jesus even healed his physical paralysis, Jesus dealt with the man’s inner condition saying “Son, your sins are forgiven.” When the bleeding woman touched Jesus cloak and was healed, Jesus made it a point to restore her socially and emotionally calling her “daughter” and setting her free “to go in peace.”
I’ve tried to power through and minimize when I’ve been hurt or bothered emotionally. As I grow older I’m experiencing that when that sort of stuff is not dealt with it takes a toll…creating mistrust, hardening into bitterness, giving rise to character issues, or manifesting itself in destructive habits and addictions. Our behaviors do not arise from a vacuum but they have roots. Unfortunately, it has taken these sort of problems for me to have to stop and deal with the wounds and lies that are at the root of these dysfunctions.
Only in the past few years have I acknowledged my problems enough to seek to dig deeper for inner healing. Through conversations of wise counsel, listening prayer, and reflection I’ve found that underneath the pornography addiction I’d been unsuccessful in stopping for years were experiences in my youth that set me on certain courses and core desires to feel good and significant. Those root desires are not bad, but I’d given in to lies and patterns of going to illusions of escape rather than to God himself. I also asked God about why it was so difficult for me to confront people about conflicts and God revealed to me a memory of abuse from childhood. God assured me that He was there, even in those times, through the presence of my mother and that He is my protector. I’m still working through these issues but being more intentional about pursing inner healing from God has helped me experience so much more growth and victory in my life.
As I spend time with people through mentoring relationships, I see so much the need for inner healing prayer. There are things that can be helped with wise counsel and loving presence but there are also those stubborn and persistent behaviors that don’t seem to go away no matter what we try. I am learning that this kind can only be dealt with in prayer in the presence of Jesus. With one brother I began mentoring, I didn’t know what I could offer him that he hadn’t heard before and I wasn’t sure that more talking or challenging would even be helpful. So I decided to just let Jesus lead our times together and let God speak to Him. Let me tell you, we’ve had more breakthroughs and transformations in an hour of conversing with God than days of any talking I’ve done.
Counselors may help reveal issues but only God can step in and heal.