They said that this ministry would be different from counseling. While I know that counseling has proved invaluable to many, my own experience was not as positive. I found that instead of resolving conflicts, I would leave each session feeling all the more agitated. Dwelling on my troubles without finding a way to solve them merely served to reinforce the emotions I was already grappling with.
But some friends at my church suggested that I try a healing and deliverance ministry. What a strange name. It does sound scary. However, through research, I found that the ministry’s goal is to actually get to the heart of issues that keep us from growing in our faith.
So, there I was in my first session with my counselor, asking the Holy Spirit to sort out in me some of the painful issues that I’ve been through in recent years. Being led in prayer, I sensed the Holy Spirit enveloping me. The image that filled my mind was of a three-legged race, albeit without any other competitors, so maybe ‘journey’ instead of ‘race’ is more apt.
I could see God the Father towering above me, a fortress of strength. He had His arm firmly around my waist, and I felt Him say to me, "I'll support you. All you have to do is put your arm around me and follow where I lead you." It was so comforting to think of Him being with me at every step -- not a new concept for me but one that has really resonated with me recently. Not only was God saying that He'd be there through the bad and the good, He was also saying that HE was leading, not I. Wherever I go, it is God who is taking me there and calling the shots. This idea didn’t just apply to the present and future tense either. He was telling me that He has been there with me every…step…of the…way.
God didn’t benefit from my presence in this ‘race’ at all. On the contrary, He could have sprinted and leaped if He had not be tethered to me and hindered by my reluctance and stubbornness. Nevertheless, I felt Him say that He wanted to be there for me, not because He gained anything from it but simply because He loves me and wants to support and guide me. If only I displayed the same level of patience to the people in my life!
The idea of a three-legged race conjures up images of stumbling, awkwardness and hilarity. There are more than a few reasons why people don’t tie themselves to each other when running errands or going shopping. This is how I know that this was a ‘picture’ from God. Our human minds would never think of something so strange and I love the fact that God has a sense of humour. It also amazes me that the Lord can use the simplest idea to explain something to us.
After my first session at the healing and deliverance ministry, I decided to continue. It was not as if God miraculously ‘fixed’ all my pain through these sessions. Nor did He give me an answer as to why He had allowed me to experience so much recent loss and pain, but I was left with an undeniable sense that He knew EXACTLY how I felt. As comforting as sympathy and empathy are from loved ones, it does not remove the sense of isolation or the sense of injustice. God is the only one who can reach us in our depths of despair and start the healing process.
I am so thankful for the counselors who I met during my sessions. Speaking about personal hurdles can often been terrifying. Committing something to thought is hard enough, let alone airing it to others. However, as Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV) When we come alongside other Christians in prayer, God can speak to our hearts in a clearer way. Although there’s no denying that our individual prayer lives play an integral part in our walk with God, our lives are not meant to be lived in isolation. God created us to communicate, and to do so in a community.
So here I am, trusting in His footwork, holding on to Him tightly and knowing that my journey is infinitely better with Him at the helm. Not only can I trust Him to take control of my daily choices, but also my life’s final destination and beyond.
See You In The Round,
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.