By Pastor Anthony L. Scott
Christians aren’t perfect, nor do we all experience a sense of peace. In fact, many are just plain miserable, feeling as if there is an enormous weight around their necks which prevents them from pressing on and enjoying what they understood the Christian life to be. Appearances can be deceiving. While appearances are most often viewed as important in the church they can also be a hindrance to wholeness. In our weekly motivation I hope you come to know that God has a message for your unhealed emotions and the church is a place for hurting people to heal.
The notion of trying to look good externally while feeling terrible internally is a futile approach to existence. Further, the adage, “time heals all wounds” is not necessarily true in the crucible of real life. Time only extends the pain if the problem is not dealt with. The Bible, God’s Word, is a book of recovery. The voice of God speaking to the deep pains of your soul is the only way to overcome hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
God uses processes to bring about change and healing. He provides forgiveness for our sins and emotional healing for the sins that have been committed against us. He frees us from the guilt, shame, anger, and resentment that burden life. His process involves embracing pain and understanding the past so that our hearts can be once again liberated and free from the masked hurts we have lived with for so long.
True forgiveness is the first step in healing the wounds of the past. Past wounds have the negative effect not only of hurting us but continuing to haunt us. So, God whispers to our soul that the healing of past wounds begins with forgiveness. Forgiveness empowers us to love others and ourselves while also enabling us to see how God is working to restore. The challenge we are confronted with regarding our past wounds is to let God heal in His own way.
God’s character-building curriculum does not always involve a spiritual air brush. Sometimes He uses a hammer and chisel, intense heat and seasons of solitude. When abuse, affliction, and abandonment appear to be your lot in life, trust God alone. If it seems know one else can be counted on, God is trustworthy.
There was once the sole survivor of a shipwreck who washed up on a small uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly everyday for God to rescue him and each day he scanned the horizon for help. In time, he managed to build a little hut to protect him from the elements and store is few possessions. One day after scavenging for food, he found his hut in flames. Upon this shocking discovery, he cried out to God, “How could you let this happen to me?” His eyes soaked with tears he fell asleep. The next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was sent to rescue him. He asked the rescue team, “How did you know I was here?” The team said, “we saw your smoke signals!”
God is at work in your life, even amid pain, suffering, and bewilderment. So, the next time your little hut is burning it may just be the smoke signal God uses to summons His grace into your situation. Carry these words from C.S. Lewis as you begin your week, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.”