Friday, August 17, 2012

Healing of the Soul

"Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, 
to bring back his soul from the pit
to be enlightened with the light of the living."
  Job 33:29-30 (KJV)

A few months ago, 
shortly before my dear mother's death,
a friend sent me a beautiful Blue Mountain Arts card.
She had heard of Mom's illness, 
knew I was going back and forth to the hospital every day,
was aware of the load I was under,
and in the card, she wrote the most comforting words.
A phrase she penned at the end caught my eye
and has lingered in my mind ever since.
It said,
"I am praying for your soul's healing!"

I hadn't thought of it that way.
But, due to many trials we have endured 
over the past two years, 
truly, that is what I needed the most.
Healing of the soul.
Restoration of health to the deepest recesses of my being.
Healing that only God can give.

There are places in all of us...
hidden deep...
that human love cannot reach.
And though those around us long to help us,
though they reach out repeatedly,
in countless, creative ways,
their efforts just can't quite reach
or do what they so long to do.
They come up short...
every time.
It is no fault of theirs.
It is just that human love can only go so far,
as Mom so often used to tell me.
After that, it takes divine love.
The love of God.
To reach the inner corridors of the soul.
To minister to those places of brokenness that only His eye can see.
To penetrate through the outer shell of braveness we so valiantly wear...
to go beyond the facade of smiles and courageous effort....
to make contact with the hurting, bleeding, shattered soul....
deep inside.

I can't explain how God does what He does.
It remains a mystery to me.
He works in His Own way, 
in His Own time,
at His Own pace.

We can't rush God.

We will wear ourselves completely out trying.
Because no matter how much we question,
cry, rant, rave, demand, even dare to threaten....
God will perform His will....
when and where and how....
He wants to.

He is God.
He is sovereign.
He answers to no one.
There is never a moment that He is not in total, complete control....
of the elements,
of the universe,
of our lives.

I don't ever mean to give satan credit for anything.
But, I must say, I don't ever remember him fighting us
as hard and as intensely as he has over the course of the past couple of years.
The friend who sent me the card understood.
She has witnessed some of the devastation...
the changes....
the aftermath.

I don't know how long she has prayed for my soul's healing.
I don't know how many times she has hit her knees and called out my name.
Maybe she has even shed tears...
or even fasted, so great was her burden.
I will never know.

One thing I do know.
God answered her prayers.
He heard every, single one of them,
and He took notice of every tear shed on my behalf.
And in His time,
quietly, 
without fanfare....
He did for me what she so kindly asked Him to do.

He has healed my soul.

Bless His wonderful name!
He has healed my soul.

It happened over a recent weekend.
I can't pin down the exact moment.
All I can say is that when we returned home from a 
very spiritually-prosperous trip,
I was healed.
Completely.
My soul...
that deepest part of me....
was whole again.

It didn't hit me while it was happening.
While I was basking in the joys of worshiping God...
with all my heart.
But, somehow, while I was caught up into a place that felt like 
"a foretaste of glory divine",
surrounded by others of like-mind,
God came in, and He did what neither I 
nor anyone who loves me ever could.

He healed my soul.

I have longed for healing of the soul.
I have wished for renewal.
I have begged God to help me forgive the pain inflicted by those 
who have not understood the path He has required me to walk.
I have cried from the depths of my inmost soul for peace,
for release,
for relief....
from the urge to cry out in self-defense.
He has not allowed me that luxury.
Each time, I have longed to stand up and explain it all....
make others see and understand,
He has answered,
"Be still."

My stillness...my silence....
has been so misunderstood.

Wasn't Jesus' silence...
His complete refusal to speak out and defend Himself....
wasn't it misunderstood?

To understand Him,
to know Him,
we must taste....
experience....
drink....
small dregs 
from the cup He drained for us.

The amazing part is the effort satan expended
in trying to prevent us from getting to the place 
we needed to be.
It was as if he sensed there was something very 
therapeutic and healing waiting there.

We plowed through his rubbish,
we plodded determinedly on...
until we got the full measure....
of God's blessing....
and the sweet, soothing touch of His healing hand.

After we returned home, 
it hit me the following Monday....
as I was praying or meditating before God...
I can't remember which.

God spoke to me.
He opened my eyes.
It was as if He applied eye salve.
He cleared my vision.
He showed me satan's scheme to keep us from that glorious place...
not one weekend....
but two weekends in a row.
He opened my eyes to see that our first weekend there,
He had applied physical healing to a need in my body.
The second weekend,
He applied spiritual healing to the deep brokenness in my 
hurting, bleeding soul.

Satan lost both weekends.

Praise God, I got what I needed.
My heart is much lighter.
The pain in my heart is much less.
I forgave some very deep hurt.
God just took it away....
He did what I could not do, 
but wanted to with all my heart.

I remember a night in prayer a few weeks back.
I was suffering much from a physical affliction.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 says, "....in the day of adversity, consider."
I got on my knees before God, and I begged Him to show me...
to open my eyes....
I considered....
myself before Him.

He showed me areas that I needed to let go...
to forgive...
even though the wrongs were unjust,
even though the inflicted hurts were undeserved,
even though the pain was deep,
I needed to forgive and release it all to Him.

I told Him I didn't know how.
That I wanted to...with all my heart.
But, I did not know how to forgive...
to let it go.

He gently answered, 
"I will do the work within you that you can not do."

He did.
Quietly.
When I didn't even know it.
When I didn't even realize what was going on.
Through the gentle work of His precious Holy Spirit, 
He healed my inmost soul.

I wish I could express through my words 
how this feels.
My feeble attempts,
my failing efforts,
will never be able to convey the joys....
of healing of the soul.

If the precious friend who cared about my hurting soul,
who went out, spent her money, and bought such a beautiful card,
who took the time and made the effort to add such inspired, meaningful words of her own,
who prayed those earnest prayers on my behalf,
who must feel I have completely neglected, forsaken, and abandoned her...
if, by some chance, 
she ever reads these words,
may I attempt to convey a personal, heartfelt message?

Thank you so much.

My words seem so flat...
hopelessly inadequate...
overwhelmingly incapable...
of expressing to you...
how very much I appreciate
you praying and interceding on my behalf.

You obviously didn't give up on me.
Heaven stood at attention.
God listened.
Your labors were not in vain, my friend.

God has healed my soul.

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