When there’s a disconnect between how we want life to be or how we think it should be, feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration, sadness, and even depression can well up. Humans tend to respond in a few ways. One is to ignore those feelings, push ‘em down, and do our best to function despite the nagging voice in the back of our minds saying “something’s not right.” Or, and this is what I often tend toward, we try to grab our problems by the throat and fix everything. If I can make my problems go away, maybe my negative feelings toward myself and about life will too.
This has been especially true for me as I’ve combated anxiety and depression for years. I have really high expectations of myself. No matter how busy life is, I critique each area I feel like I’m falling short in instead of giving myself the grace to be okay at some things while I’m prioritizing other things. I work like crazy to stay successful in my job, maintain my friendships, keep up a good family life, and work on myself by reading and journaling, working with a therapist, and constantly challenging myself to be and do better. This is an opposite swing from what I used to do, which was to try to ignore my negative feelings and keep going with life as usual. In either scenario, I felt like all my problems were entirely my responsibility.
This is where God’s gift of inner healing comes in. There’s the phrase “God helps those who help themselves,” and while this is true to an extent, I know I tend to take the “help themselves” part too far sometimes! I feel like I need to do 95% of the work while the Lord does the other 5% to tie up my loose ends. In reality, however, God wants to partner with us for our healing! We do the work of coming to Him, and He does the work of healing our hearts and souls. We continue to act in ways that will help us live in freedom, and He continues to show us more about Himself and ourselves so that we can become completely whole.
The Greek word for salvation used in the New Testament is sozo, which has three aspects: to save, to deliver, and to heal. When Jesus says to the hemorrhaging woman “Go, your faith has saved you,” he is saying to her, “your faith has saved you, delivered you, and made you well. You’ve been healed in every way.”
That’s the Lord’s goal for all of us. He doesn’t just want to save our souls, he wants to make us whole. And the state of our hearts is essential to our wholeness. We were not made to live with persistent fear or worry, to struggle with feelings of rejection or low self-worth, to be constantly angry or sad. As humans, we of course experience doses of these feelings as natural reactions to situations, and that is a good thing. It means our emotions are doing the job of telling us something is not right in the world! But when these feelings weigh on our hearts for long periods of time, we are then robbed of the wholeness we were created for.
I’m sharing all of this as an encouragement to you that if there’s anything weighing on your heart, God wants to do the work of healing with you. Whether it’s feeling impatient & irritable all the time, feeling desperate about areas of hurt in your relationship, or feeling overwhelmed and even hopeless about life, God wants to meet you there.
No problem is too small for God. It really breaks my heart that almost every time we host an event, I have a discussion with someone who feels that another person deserves healing more. These individuals obviously have loving hearts for others - if there’s only so much healing to go around, they can see others who seemingly need it more! But this notion is a misunderstanding of God’s infinite love and mercy. He doesn’t have a limited amount of healing love that can be doled out. There are no qualifications for attaining wholeness - “Oh, you need to be a little bit more wounded and desperate before I can fix that for you. Come back when your life is as bad as Jim’s over there.”
It seems silly when we see it on paper, but so many of us operate under this lie that God only pays attention to those who “really need it.” Or we think that somehow, if we pass up on healing, God will be more likely to offer the healing we refused to someone we love. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but here’s the thing: every single human person is lost in some way. Yes, the Lord has a heart of mercy for people who desperately need it, but that doesn’t mean our own wanderings and pain don’t matter to Him. Even if your problem is just that you’re really mad at your Aunt Gertrude, God wants to bring healing to that relationship!
Here’s the thing: the work of inner healing is often best done with someone who can guide you through the process of giving things over to God and learning how to receive His healing. I definitely encourage everyone to spend personal time with God telling Him about what’s on your heart and giving those things over to Him, but we are a community. The MHT ministry staff and volunteers at our Holy Spirit encounters are trained to help walk you through a process of forgiveness and dialogue with God that will help you receive His love in a new way. Our next Holy Spirit Encounter is on October 20, and I’d encourage you to consider offering some of the unspoken pain in your heart to the Lord with the help of a prayer team that night. Let the Lord make all things new in your life.
God Bless, Kayla