Friday, 15 December 2017

T To Your Health

Principles and Pathways

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Leading from Fragmentation to Wholeness

Almost four decades ago, my heart went from full to nearly empty when I heard these eleven words: “Pastor, I have some bad news for you. Jonathan has died.” Welcome to the wilderness of grief. It can be a lonely, confusing, dangerous place. Sometimes you have to find your own way through it, as I have. Perhaps these principles and insights will help:

  • ) Embrace the Paradox of Pain. Sometimes life is agony. Our loving God is in control.  Embrace only the first part, and you might as well write your own epitaph: “Died at thirty. Buried at seventy.”  Embrace only the second part, and your faith may survive, but I’ll bet the farm that the rest of your pilgrimage will be marked by an inability to truly love God with your whole heart – which is the key to healing and wholeness.
  • ) Take a Risk. You have to take the chance that God is more loving, understanding, and forgiving than you have ever imagined. Because until you know he cares, you’ll never really tell him how angry you are about what has hap­pened
  • ) Remember that in Your Weakness the Lord is Strong. Even beyond the terrifying brink of sanity, there is something (actually, Someone) holding you up, and holding you together as yourwhole world is falling apart.It is a dangerous place to be, but a singular opportunity: To know that in your weakness, the Lord is strong.  To learn to trust, even when you cannot feel the ground.  To understand that youare no master of your destiny.   To become wiser and more real.
  • ) Take God’s Hand.He knows how you groan inwardly (see Rom. 8:23), and he understands and cares. He’s been there for you, and he is with you now, interceding for you with “groans that words cannot express” (Rom. 8:26).
  • ) Link yourself to God by Faith. Listen with your inner ear as he keeps softly saying, “I love you.” Believe that he can guide you through this wasteland to a better place.  Ask your questions, all of them, because the asking itself is an affirmation that you know a person and you live in relation­ship. And that fact, beyond your attempts to loose yourself from this riddle called life, is what will carry you beyond the confu­sion you may experience today.
  • ) Find Someone to Walk With You Through This Fragmenting Time. Try to find a nonjudgmental, loving Christian friend or counselor who will listen and help you sort things out before it all comes apart. After all, before there were psychiatrists, there were just friends to talk with, share with, take long walks with, and work things through with.
  • ) Believers Often Experience Three Stages of Grief.
    1. Affirmation of faith
    2. Conflict between the mind and emotions
    3. Deeper faith
  • ) Take Heart. If you’re still in the struggling phase, experiencing deep confusion and wondering about your sanity or your orthodoxy, please take heart. What’s happening is not strange. You haven’t lost your mind. You haven’t committed the unpardonable sin. You’re doing what Job did (see Job 3-39), striving on many levels – with God, with his friends, and within himself – for peace, rec­onciliation, wholeness.
  • ) Be honest with God. Do not pretend. Do not lie. But look your struggle in the eye, and tell him how you feel. He’ll not be surprised or offended.
  • ) Forgive yourself. Can you forgive yourself for being just a human being, no pillar of the faith, just little old you? Can you forgive yourself for hanging onto your pain for all this time? For still hurting after all this time and still being lame instead of healed already, etc., etc.?
  • ) Survey the horizons of life – truthfully.Look beyond the trifles, trivialities, diversions, and amusements and gaze upon the naked truth: the horizons of life do not demonstrate God’s love. Instead we see many troubling things….
  • ) Turn toward the Cross: “Look at the cross,” the apostle urges, “and you will know in your mind that God must love you.” Look. See. Understand. Perceive the love of God demonstrated in ultimate terms – a truly convincing, convicting appeal to the mind, and many have come to repentance through its message. “God loves me. It can­not be denied. He proved it at Calvary.”
  • ) Fight the evil one:The evil one would love to bury your hope in a coffin of doubt.  But, for his own purposes, God has chosen to allow you to pass through the refining process. When God is through refining you … you will see the kind of person the fire has refined. If he believes in you, perhaps it is safe for you to do the same.
  • ) Give Him your pain:Since by faith you have linked your life with his, your pain is his and his sufferings are yours. Therefore, it matters little what the source is, nor how intense the pain. What matters most is whether or not you can give it to him, letting him control and transform it for his purposes and even for his glory, and in the process you can discover fellowship with God that you never knew before.
  • ) Welcome God’s Interference:The crucial question is this: Having taken up the cross, are you now willing to trust the One who controls your destiny? Do you welcome his cross’s interference?
  • ) Stop demanding to have things just the way they are. A choice to hold out or hold on will take you back into the mountains of suffering again, to wander and wonder awhile longer. But the conscious decision to let God be God, to give up the demand to have things just the way they were, and to embrace his way is the beginning of integration. For embracing his way is the pathway that leads to embracing him – the one trustworthy foundation for reconstructing your fragmented self.
  • ) Remain loyal: And the greatest question in relation to God is “Are you or are you not going to remain loyal to a God who works in your world in this way?” It may take a while to resolve this, as it did with Job, but the process has great potential for growth
  • ) Let God be God: In fact, everything will have to change, because if you let Jesus into your pain, it has to be on his terms. He wants to re­build your realities from the center outward. He’s not content to stay on the fringes of your faith. He must be Lord.
  • ) Admit that God is the only worthy center of your universe: Our part is to deny that we, ourselves, are worthy centers of our own universe and to center instead on Christ, who invites us to “take up his cross” with the same intention and intensity he did – to die on it; in other words, to lose our life for his sake, by choice (see Matt. 10:39). This is the only way to find real life.
  • ) Realize that it’s ok to groan. As Paul says, creation groans. So it must be okay for me to groan, too, when I need to do so. And it is not required, at least by God, that we pretend that some other real­ity is our current experience.
  • ) Tell the truth to God and yourself.Be true to yourself and most of all to God. How does it really feel? He will never be surprised. Is every day with Jesus sweeter than the day before? Of course not. Even Jesus had his bitter days, too.
  • ) Put on God’s armor.So we must put on the whole armor of God (see Ephesians 6) and strive for the faith of the gospel (see Phil. 1:27-30) with the power that God provides.
  • ) In your pain, create. Perhaps God has given you creative gifts, a talent that could be a blessing to others, and now you feel compelled to express the pain somehow. Do it! By all means, do it!
  • ) Experience life again. Can you free yourself to experience life in the now? It’s not disloyal to laugh again, to enjoy the little things like the garden, wildflowers, birds, or a good meal with good friends who care about you today.

This article, © 2017 by Healthy Life Press, is sponsored by Healthy Life Press. It includes insights from three of Dr. Biebel’s books: Jonathan, You Left Too Soon; Making God Visible; If God is so Good, Why Do I Hurt so Bad? No part of this article may be duplicated and/or disseminated without the express written permission of the author or the. publisher

Columnist: Dr. David B. Biebel

DBiebel headshot

 

Dr. Biebel has authored or co-authored twenty books, including one bestseller: If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? and the Gold Medallion winner, New Light on Depression. His recent releases include Making God Visible and Away in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb's Point of View.


His goal is to help people attain and retain optimal physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health (personal wholeness) so they can love the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. He founded Healthy Life Press (www.healthylifepress.com) to help new authors with something to contribute in this arena to get their works into print.

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

 

        To Purchase these or any other of Dr. Biebel's titles click HERE

 

Fueling Wholesome Entertainment

TWJ Magazine is the premier publication for lovers of the written word.