John 10: 10b-I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
This is a verse that I love very much. This word reminds me that Christ came that you and I may have life in abundance. He came that we may be full of joy, peace, health, and every other good thing in life. He overcame death for us, He wore our shame. He was despised that we may be accepted. It makes me understand just how much I am worth in the eyes of my God.
The other day I was going through something that I could not understand. For quite a while now, I have been experiencing a great phase in my life. I have been experiencing immeasurable joy and peace from God. His love has been tangible in my life. I never had to cry, I only cried in the joy of what He had done in my life. I quite appreciated this phase since it was one of a kind. My life has been faced with difficulties, some natural, others self-inflicted.
I have experienced some bad turns in my life. Situations that took away my pride, my esteem, and almost my faith in God. I had reached a point in my life where I was so tired of this life that all I wanted was for God to take me away. It’s not once or twice I made this prayer. On numerous occasions I put myself in compromising situations, hoping that an “accident” would take me away. However, God stood with me. In my pain and foolishness, He never left me alone. When I finally discovered God’s healing power, I allowed Him to heal my heart and He did exactly that.
Though my heart was healed, and I became happy again, my confidence did not return. Fear was still my daily companion. Fear of trusting people, fear of letting anyone in my heart. Fear of change. I held on to this fear like one holds on to a beloved one. I allowed God to take everything else, but this? I still wasn’t ready.
So it was quite a surprise when just the other day, emotions began to overwhelm me. I thought, “God, you have already healed my heart. Why is this happening? Why am I experiencing this kind of pain all over again?”
It was until I remembered a story, written by Max Lucado that I completely understood what was happening. You see, Joseph after the dream he had, was sold by his brothers. We see his life from being a slave to Potiphar’s trusted servant, from Potiphar’s mansion to jail, and lastly to being the second in command in Egypt. All this while, Joseph did not think about his family. He did what he had to do. You know perhaps if it was someone else, perhaps he would have used all the power he had to ensure that the brothers suffered for selling him. But Joseph did nothing good or bad concerning his family.
God changed joseph’s life completely. He made him rule over the Egyptians and be a pillar of hope for the world in that period. So his dream was fulfilled, but something was missing-his family. God is amazing when He says He is the Lord our healer, He means exactly that. He is the healer of our physical ailments. But more than that, He is the healer of our spiritual diseases, our financial woes, our social issues, and our emotional troubles to mention just but a few. So Joseph was elevated. But God was not done with him, He still wanted to heal his heart. This is the reason why God sent his brothers in Egypt to seek food. I believe this was not easy for Joseph. Seeing his family, remembering how jealous they were of him, how they sold him. It was not an easy thing. But God caused this to happen because He wanted to deal with any emotional wounds that were still remaining in Joseph’s life, and finally reconciling him to his family.
The healing process is quite a long one. It is not an instant thing. It takes time. It is also not always very comfortable. When a person experiences sexual trauma at a young age, it is God who takes away the shame and the pain. God wants such a person to be free of the shame associated with such an act. But guess what? The same God wants that person to be free of bitterness and un-forgiveness. For the healing process to be complete, God will make you forgive those who hurt you. Now, this is never easy, how do I forgive that person who made my life hell? How do I forgive that person who murdered one of my family members? Surely God can’t be serious when He asks me to let go of my hatred towards the person who ruined my chances of having a good life!
But you know what beloved, God understands that un-forgiveness does not hurt the person it is directed to. It only hurts you. The healing process cannot be complete without God dealing with un-forgiveness. Forgiveness is not always just directed to others. It can also be directed at yourself. It is easier to forgive others than ourselves in some instances. It is human nature to judge ourselves harshly as compared to how we could judge someone else in the same situation. God has forgiven you. And sometimes, you just need a little push to make you forgive yourself and love yourself again.
Some of us find it very hard to love again after heartbreak. We are grateful that God healed our hearts. However, we cannot even think of ever loving again. This is because when God removed the pain in our hearts, we decide to fill it with fear.
Now please do not get me wrong. God will remind us of something that happened in the past, not to make us feel guilty, or see ourselves as failures (as Satan would). He does it so that He can help us deal with it. So the next time God brings back something that happened in the past, be careful to understand why. Does God want you to forgive someone who hurt you? Does He want to deal with unbelief or fear in your life?
Christ came that we might have life and have it in abundance. When God says that He is the one who heals us, He means just that. He is a perfect healer. He won’t give you strength to go through loss and leave your heart hardened that no one can penetrate. He won’t fight for you then leave you alone to figure out what to do with your life. He walks with you, every step of the way. He aligns your footsteps to His, so that you do not take a wrong turn.
He is love, He longs to indwell us, He longs to heal us of our frustrations, our fears, and everything else. So the next time God reminds you of something that happened to you, don’t start complaining. Instead, seek to understand His will for you, putting in mind that He wants us to be whole, not holding some past sorrows to ourselves.