Allow God to heal you

Dr. Carolyn N. Roy, Plank Chapel United Methodist Church
Mar. 14, 2014 @ 08:23 PM

Lent is a time when we reflect on our own mortality and the gift God gives us through His son, Jesus Christ, who lived our life, died our death, and was resurrected so that the world might be saved. It is a time to engage in spiritual practices that help us experience the impact of Christ’s suffering and how His life, death and resurrection is the hope of the world.

It is a good time to lament.

In a small group study on embracing lament through the Psalms, the author Steve Frost tells us that, “New life grows out of the soil of an honest engagement with our own deep pain.”

We can hear the pain of the psalmist in Psalm 88 as it begins, “O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out to you; turn your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.” (NIV)

Many of us have experienced moments in our lives when those words could have been ours. The question for our consideration is, “Have we dove into the deep waters of our pain or stayed on the safety of the shore seeking distractions from our hurt?”

When we seek distractions we begin to bury the hurt and believe we are healing when we are only controlling pain. We manage our pain with the drug of denial. God desires us to be healed. To be healed, we give control to God and open wide the wounds, exposing the hurt and pain to the healing power of God. In one of my favorite hymns by Natalie Sleeth are these words, “In our death, a resurrection, and at last a victory, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.” Resurrection cannot happen without death occurring. Resurrection comes from God.

It is a bit scary to open deep wounds, to allow that emotion to surface that left us doubled in pain or rocking in the dark. Yet the promise of God is that if we go through the pain, God will go through it with us and redeem that pain with new life in Christ. We live more fully as we are fully healed. It gets scarier because this process of healing is not to be done alone. In the Letter of James, we read if anyone is sick we are to call on the elders of the church to pray over the sick; we read that healing is done in community.

There is much in the world, our nation, our state, our community, God’s church and our own personal lives that needs healing. Healing starts with us and through us into God’s church, our community, our state, our nation and the world.

Psalm 126 reminds us, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

Engage in a lenten discipline of lament and allow God to heal you.