Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Thoughts about the Obedience of Forgiveness from Juanita Ryan

I found that this passage addresses the challenge we face when we determine that we will walk the Path of Healing on the journey of forgiveness. It's a hard thing to do, and we have to want to do it more than we want our own comfort. It is a process of negotiating relationships and working them out, but it is also a process that reveals our own hearts. It exposes those festering wounds and asks us to surrender to the Master Healer to find wholeness. This path is often painful.

We walk that healing path out of love and we find our determination in faith and in God's faithfulness to us. I also liked this passage because it affirms that healing is an ongoing process that we seek over and over, and we see this in so many elements of the forgiveness process, too.

Excerpt from An Enduring Embrace: Experiencing the Love at the Heart of Prayer, sections of which can currently be read on Juanita Ryan's blog, Graceful Growth:

God’s love is powerful enough to help us know ourselves and others as dearly loved and deeply valued.

It is only fair, however, to offer a warning about the process of experiencing God’s healing in our lives. When we begin to encounter our spiritual illness and turn to God for healing, we often encounter an experience similar to going to a medical doctor. When someone goes to a doctor with what seems like a minor complaint and finds out that they have cancer, things go from bad to terrible. The problem turns out to be worse than they thought. And the treatment designed to free them from a disease may create significant distress before it helps them feel better.

This is often the experience we have when we seek spiritual healing from God. God begins to shine a light on the problem so that we see it more clearly. This can be a disturbing and uncomfortable experience.

God’s healing may involve opening up our festering wounds to clean them out. During times like this things can feel like they are getting worse rather than better. We may be tempted to stop receiving this kind of help. We may decide we don’t want this healing. We may be tempted to believe that we are beyond hope. But, as with most treatments for life threatening illnesses, the pain is part of the process of receiving the deep healing we need.

Prayer is inviting God to heal us and free us. It is in the process of showing up for our Healer’s treatment, over and over and over again, that we can be set free and made whole.