My message is this: our valleys can be purposeful and our pain can be productive. These three critical steps might lead you through difficult times:
1. No obstacle can be faced as a worrier. You must allow God to be your warrior.
Remember “If only” (what has already happened) and “What if” (what might happen) are the rigid destructive duet of worry. They are deadly consumers of our thoughts regarding yesterdays and tomorrows.
Replace worry with war. Commit to putting God in your Army, allowing Him to do battle with those fears which hold you captive. If we put our trust in God with our worries spiritually, we then hand them over to Him to resolve EVERYTHING. Remember, worry accomplishes absolutely nothing.
2. If you are bitter, you cannot get better.
Forgiveness is one of life’s most difficult assignments, but the truth is it is not done, the unforgiving heart holds you a prisoner with the dark shadows of blame, resentment, anger, and hurt. It’s like an infection that pollutes your soul and destroys all joy. To forgive someone is to, once again, hand over the responsibility of justice to God. He becomes judge and jury, allowing us to rid ourselves of the bitterness and blame. Forgiveness is not for the person who has wronged us. It is for us.
3. Until you feel, you cannot heal.
Our natural response to pain and suffering is to cover it up and push it away to a place where we cannot experience it, thus denying its existence in our lives. But in doing so, we let brokenness hold us in bondage and we suffer in a perpetual prison of silence.
The only way to find restoration is to expose our “agony” to the outside world and let others help mend the emotional wounds. I know what you are thinking….”No, it’s too unspeakable, too horrific, and too ugly for the world to see.” But you will be surprised to discover many others around you who are experiencing the same adversity. Remember when two or more with similar agonies can bond and turn the leadership over to God, freedom is ours. So remember the 3 Rs: reveal the pain, release the truth, and rely on one another.
For years I wrestled with the question, “Why me, God?” Today, I know the truth: A test can become a testimony. A trial can become a triumph. A victim can become victorious. I now ask, “Why not me?”