The Epidemic

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24...."The great epidemic in the church today is unresolved grief." Steve Arteburn

They say that time heals all wounds, but that's a lie. A lie so many even within the church have believed. Time heals nothing, it only buries more deeply the grief and sorrow that we never bring to Him. It is an epidemic, as Arteburn says. More, it's a tragedy, for He never wills that it be so. I know. I'm one who has lived with unhealed wounds.

Dealing with grief, with sorrow, from those things that have happened to us, been done to us, or done by us, is, I think, the most difficult challenges facing all of us, but especially those who are His. It can be made so by a well-meaning church that oftentimes gives no real opportunity for healing. We like to rejoice with those who rejoice, but not so much to grieve with those who are grieving. More, we don't like to be involved in the mess that can go along with it all; anger, bitterness, unforgiveness. All these things can be very present, but they're not to be present in a follower of Christ. So if they are, the tendency is to deny them, bury them, try to act as if they're not there. But they are, and they cancer. They are a cancer...destroying so many lives. It is the long, unending journey of unresolved grief, and all the side issues that come with it.

I have always seen and believed upon Him as a Healer. My Healer. I have walked through some deep sorrows in my life, and He has brought deep healing to the sorrow. Even so, there was a time, nearly two decades ago, when He revealed to me how much of the sorrow remained untouched, and malignant. It was showing up in a number of ways, through relationships, in ministry, and in my walk with Him. I thought a great work of healing had taken place, and it had, but I was unaware of just how much unfinished healing remained. How flawed and wounded my inner life, my self-image and God image, remained. I thought He had done His work. He showed me that He had so much more for me than that. So began a deeper journey into Him. It was not easy, and it was humbling. I had to confess to things that were crippling me, repent of beliefs, attitudes, and actions that hurt me, and others. Someone has said that "the devil can't mess with a corpse." It is only by dying out to that which holds us captive that we can live in Him who makes us free. Doing that is never easy, which is why so many of us prefer to just bury it all, try to move on from it. We hope it will be better down the road, but it isn't. We just keep doing the same toxic things, thinking the same toxic thoughts, living prisoner to the same toxic spirits. And all the while, the Healer stands before us....longing to cleanse us, free us, to resolve once and for all, the chains of our grief, and all the toxic elements that go with it.

Arteburn calls it an epidemic. Are you held in its grip? Can you, right where you are, invite Him to fully search your heart, to uncover everything that is crippling you, hurting you, and very likely others, and just yielding it all, surrendering it all, to Him... and His healing touch. Dying to it all so that you can live in all of Him. The devil can't mess with a corpse. Aren't you beyond weary of his messing with you?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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