Thursday, October 21, 2010


Healing is something that can be experienced in extremely different ways for different people. In chapel the other day, one of the guys on the baseball team shared about when he punched a window, which severed an artery and almost died from it. His dad, who is a pastor, was also there to share about how God performs miracles every day and this was an example of his son being healed by God. At the end of the service, the chaplain got up and talked about how this dad had gotten the healing he wanted, but that another dad on stage had not gotten the healing he wanted. The other dad was the guy who leads worship for our chapels. His four-year old son died relatively recently, yet he continues to worship God every day. 

I am not going to talk about the intangibles of physical healing because, honestly, I just don’t know enough about it to do so right now. However, something that is also very important is emotional and spiritual healing. What do we do when people we care about get hurt, and bad things happen to us? Some people get mad at God. Others suppress everything they are feeling and act like everything is fine. Some people feel like they need to know why this or that happened. Some people think they need to move on, even if they really just want to cry. And some people feel bad if they are angry or if they don’t have any answers.

First of all, it is okay to feel angry or to have no answers.
Secondly, when something like this happens, we need to take the time to take it in, accept it, and grieve for a bit. Jesus wept, which means he took in the emotion of what was going on and felt the pain of losing a friend.  Rob Bell says, “You have to let it hit you. You can’t avoid it. We can’t avoid our responses to things and think they will go away. We have to let it out or it will stay in there somewhere.”

From there, we have a choice. A choice of whether we are going to be bitter or accept what has happened and move on. The thing about bitterness, though, is that it can take over your thoughts if you allow it. The longer we hold onto something, the harder it is to let it go. Sometimes, we focus so much on what we don’t have that we start to lose out on what we still do have. 

We have to put our faith in Go that he will restore us and heal us.
Psalm 71:20 says, “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”
Although any loss hurts, we will recover. God made us so that we can overcome anything this world can throw at us with his help. It may seem like you are have hit rock bottom and will never recover, but there is always hope with God.

There is a Jewish custom when a loved one dies that the family of the deceased observes a practice referred to as “sitting shiva.” During this ritual, families can sit and talk together or they can just sit in silence and grieve.

“God is sitting shiva with you, fully present, grieving your loss, but also restoring. And in that, we may find hope.” God cares about us enough that he hurts when we hurt. Therefore, he wants to heal us from the hurts that we have. We have to fully trust in him (which is no easy task) and then consciously allow him to work in and through us. We have to choose not to be bitter and to forgive those who hurt us. We have to understand that every bad thing we experience in life will absolutely benefit us at some point in our lives. Hurt leads to restoration. Pain leads to healing.

“He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our sins. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Recently, I was at an event with some of my friends and we were all sitting around the campfire and everyone was sharing about themselves and opening up like I had never seen them before. I thought I knew the majority of them decently well, but I learned so much about each of them during this time. Toward the end, something happened that made me feel God and the amount of love and caring between friends that I was totally not expecting. It went like this:

Everybody had shared except for one guy who I had never heard open up at all. I wouldn’t have really been surprised if he didn’t say anything. Then, he started telling us about this stuff that had been going on for the past 4 or 5 years, but he didn’t ever want to tell anybody about it because he didn’t want to think about it or talk about it or basically acknowledge it. It wasn’t anything that was his fault or that he could do anything about, but just a situation where he was hurting. When he was done sharing, we started to pray for him because we care about him and wanted him to know that we are here for him and all. While we were praying, all the sudden I heard somebody who was crying really loud and I couldn’t figure out who it was or what was going on. I saw somebody trying to leave the little prayer circle and I realized it was the roommate and best friend of the guy we were praying for. We asked him what was wrong with him and he could only say, “I had no idea. I had no idea.” He was so hurt because his friend was hurting and had been for years, and they had been friends for so long but he had never known the truth. After a few minutes, when we were done praying for both of them, they embraced each other and the friend told him that he could tell him anything.

It was one of those situations where a typical guy doesn’t want to look weak by opening up to his friends. Guys, for whatever reason, absolutely dread these sort of moments most of the time. Our pride makes us want to hold in all our struggles and everything that makes us hurt. Sometimes, it takes more strength to open up and admit that we don’t have it all together than to keep it all inside and do it on your own. When we let others in, we are making ourselves vulnerable. It is something that we never want to do because we want to be in control. The thing is though, that sometimes, we just need the help of our friends. We need to be able to admit that we want their help and that we need God’s help. The kind of love and caring that I saw from the friend of the person we were praying for was inspirational. I think those kind of moments are the most real, lasting moments we experience. Why is it, then, that we have such a hard time ever opening up to our friends? Is it because we don’t want to make things weird in our friendship? If so, maybe you should reevaluate your friendship. What is the point in being friends with somebody if you can’t actually be real with them and tell them what’s on your heart and what you need? Is it because we don’t actually trust the people we are talking to or do we just want everybody to be under the impression that we have it all together? If you want people to think you have it all together, good luck. Does anybody really think anybody has it completely together?

I challenge you, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Make yourself vulnerable to others. Be willing to open up. Support your friends. Show them that you really care. Be there.  Love.  It could completely change your friendships and relationships. I have so much more respect for both of those two guys now after that. And God was in every part of that situation.