Part II…The Power of Words to Heal the Soul

Sympathy…
I got lots of it. Well-intentioned, loving, caring friends and family poured forth their consolations.  Hearing things like I’m so sorry this happened to you, or they should have done more to help you, and why did they allow you to labor for that long only to give you a c-section, enabled me to lick my wounds for longer and helped me justify my sadness and anxiety. Joining club WHY? kept me circling the drain of doubt and confusion. I was exactly where the enemy wanted me to be.
Instead of moving forward and pressing on, I was remaining stagnant: sympathy was my sedative.  Sedatives are depressants that sustain a state of sleep. They purposefully keep one from engaging the pain of the moment and thus hold one back from full recovery.  I gladly accepted sedation.
The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Well-intentioned, kind words are not always the words that need to be spoken. Words spoken in purity and innocence of heart, no matter how sincere they may be, can often be a hindrance to God’s plan unfolding in one’s life.
We see this so many times in the Bible. For example, Job’s well-meaning friends. Their intentions were pure. They wanted to help their suffering friend. They wanted to console him and present a reason and a possible solution for the trials he faced but their words completely missed the mark. In fact, the Bible says that at that time, there was no one more righteous than Job and yet his friends blamed sin in his life as the culprit for his demise.  Perhaps Job’s friends caused him to meditate on false notions of cause while his eyes should have been fixed on God instead.
When Jesus was about to go to the cross, Peter told Him that he would never allow that to happen.  Peter did not want to see his beloved friend killed much less be killed in such a cruel manner.  Isn’t that normal? Who wants to see suffering in the lives of loved ones? Not me. And yet Jesus replies in a curious and profound way: “Get behind me Satan! You do not have the things of God in mind but the things of man!” What???   Wow! That is a profound spiritual principal being revealed there. Jesus refused to accept worldly sympathies. Worldly words can contend with God’s plan. If Peter had spiritually discerned the purpose in Jesus’ death on the cross and what it would accomplish, he may have chosen different consolations.
As I type and think these things through, my intention is not to express anger or bitterness toward anyone who offered me comfort during my difficult time. In fact, all of the things said to me are things that I myself would also say to a hurting friend. And I am certainly not comparing myself with either Job or Jesus. I am just examining the spiritual truth revealed in both situations. I have learned that I need to seek and before I speak. After all, scripture says that many are the afflictions of the righteous… but the Lord delivers him from them all. In this world, believers are refined by the fiery trials they face. Impurities are removed by hardship and precious stones remain.  I want to comfort people with the truth of scripture and not with worldly philosophical sympathies that tell us we should never have to endure pain or hardship in this life.  When a person is in emotional pain, they need to know that there is a greater spiritual purpose for it.  How hard it is to endure pain with no sense of its usefulness.
Eight months after Makaio was born, I had a revelation. It happened at women’s conference I was attending one Saturday. I happily walked into church that morning relieved that no one I knew was going to be there. Maybe I could finally let the floodgates of misery come down and not have to be totally embarrassed by such a blatant display of emotional weakness. Maybe I could freely cry and not have to worry about who was staring at me and wondering why I was so sad.  The last eight months of fear, anxiety and just plain sadness were like weights around my neck dragging me down and I didn’t even fully realize it until that day. I sat down in the pew and waited for the program to begin. This church was so different than what I was used to. Pentecostal and charismatic displays of worship threatened my conservative stiffness. I really didn’t care. They had joy…I did not.
I stood there during worship desperate and vulnerable, ready to take a chance. The speaker approached the podium and her message was entitled “Just Joy!” Hmmm…a nice concept.
I don’t remember much of what she said that day. But I do remember this. She said, “Look into your past and think of a painful memory or experience that has hindered your spiritual growth. Use that pain to propel you forward into your ministry and destiny as a child of God! There is healing, there is purpose and there is a calling that only you can fulfill as a result of that experience.”
These were the words I had been waiting to hear for the past eight months. Something inside of me instantly healed. My wounds were sown shut and wholeness became a reality for me again. Fear was gone and anxiety took the back seat. It was like God Himself spoke to me that day.
I’ve never been the same since. I am completely free from the emotional pain of Makaio’s birth. I can talk about it without crying and I can accept the events as sovereign building blocks of faith that have a present and future purpose!
The name Makaio in the Hawaiian language means, “Gift from God.“
I have never received a more perfect gift than Him.
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