God Will Thwart You To Save You
Do you feel like you've been grounded? Do you remember when you were a kid and you would get in trouble and your parents would say "go to school and come right back, no friends today, you're grounded?" Do you feel like you're serving some kind of punishment?
This year has felt like serving one long grounding sentence. It's as if everyone in the world has been sent to their room to "think about their choices." Did your parents ever say that to you? Maybe it was something like, "go sit in timeout and think about your choices."
I feel like a child who is serving a "timeout" sentence. Timeouts are not fun. But they can be very constructive! Pausing to be alone with your thoughts and just think can be very powerful and in fact, can even expose overlooked wounds that need healing.
I don't know about you, but this "timeout" and this "go to your room" has been very exposing for me. Not being able to go to the places I normally go, do the things I normally do, and be around my friends has been extremely revealing to the true condition of my soul.
Sometimes the condition of our soul and our need for healing is obvious. When we're overwhelmed by depression and anxiety, it's pretty obvious that something is going on within us that is in desperate need of Jesus.
But sometimes it's not so obvious. Sometimes we're managing by providing enough distractions for ourselves throughout the day with work, hobbies, hangout sessions with friends, etc. that we put a good distance between ourselves and the true condition of our souls.
We keeps the aches and pains at bay as long as there's enough distractions.
Then all of a sudden WHAM!, everything that we use for pain management, distractions, escapes from our problems, and substitutions from healing are taken away. Wow! Talk about revealing!
Now the true condition of our soul is exposed. I felt overwhelmed by this at first and I asked Jesus why all this was happening. I was expected to hear something like "don't worry I redeem all things, my plans are good", or maybe some religious tone like "who are you to question me, the creator of all the universe?" or something like that.
But that's not what Jesus said at all. In fact, he spoke very tender words to me.
I asked why this was happening and he said:
"So I can save you."
"What!?!" Was my response. "You mean you've thwarted me from indulging in all my distractions, escapes, and substitutions so you can bring me healing??"
"That's right." Jesus said lovingly with a little smile and a nod.
I took on a defensive tone of disbelief and countered with, "Well Jesus what about all the places I go for validation, my striving, how my identity comes from successes and failures? What about my childhood traumas, this pain I feel in my soul, and how my dreams and passions feel distanced by pain and disappointment?"
"I have healing for you. Healing for everything. Healing that will set you free!"
This has been a wonderful time of healing for me, and every day as Jesus speaks to me, I'm taken deeper and deeper into healing, freedom, and experiencing what Jesus means by "fullness of life."
Has this time been revealing and exposing for you?
Sometimes we get caught up in the crazy pace of society and the busyness and we become separated from our heart and soul. But Jesus sees through all the "bandaids" and distractions.
He knows the condition of your soul and he loves you too much to leave you crippled and living from unhealed wounds.
Maybe you've been alone in your room long enough thinking about your life and it's time that your father came in and talked with you. (Do you remember that? "Go to your room and think, your father will be up to talk with you soon." So you storm off and slam the door to your room and lock it. Then after some time has gone by you hear your father outside the door. He speaks these gentle words, "Would you please let me in, I'm not mad, I just want to talk." Remember that?)
Maybe it's time to unlock the door and let Jesus in. He knows, he understands, he's not mad, in fact, he's heartbroken over the wounds you've been dealt. He wants to heal. It's what he does.
A timeout is meant to get us back on track. A timeout doesn't always mean you've done something wrong. A sports team will call a timeout when they need to catch their breath, regroup, and go back out with a new strategy.
Tell me in the comments what this "timeout" has done for you. What have you learned? What adjustments have you made? Has Jesus spoken to you during this time? Has this been a season of exposure and healing like it has for me? Tell me below!
- Still pressing into Jesus' healing, Garrett