Intersection of Life and Faith

<< iPod Devotionals, with Dave Burchett

Where The Healing Begins

  • 2010 Apr 26

I interact with a lot of wounded people. My books and a big hunk of my writing have been directed toward those who are beaten up by life, religion and too often by other people in the church. After writing a book on healing and restoring wounded lambs I was hurt and hurt others in a ministry situation. It was humbling and discouraging. Really discouraging. I was about ready to don the martyr's robe and limp to the finish line.  And then something happened. A song by one of my favorite groups, Tenth Avenue North, describes a bit of the journey. 

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

All of those years of working hard (and then harder) to be Godly and I found out to my great sadness that it wasn't enough.  Not only was self-effort not enough it was counterproductive to my desire to experience God's presence and love. The walls so carefully constructed were, in fact, see-through to those who really knew me well. In my sadness and tiredness God smiled because I was finally ready for grace. At the point of brokenness I was ready for the healing to begin.

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark

Coming to the point where I was broken and realizing my own inability to walk this journey of faith is where the healing began for me. Letting the walls down and trusting God and others with who I really am is where the healing continued. Understanding and trusting that I am completely forgiven and my past is completely forgotten is where the healing became real. Knowing that Jesus loves me desperately on my worst day is where the healing began to translate to the daily walk.

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

For too many years I danced that awkward and ugly dance of hiddenness and shame.  For so many anguished years I thought that if I was a better Christian this wouldn't be happening. If I prayed/studied/fasted/read/attended more church events I would be more Godly. I was depending on the wrong source.

When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins

I love the image of grace invading the darkness and sparks of healing flying as the truth about me was set free. I am a child of God who is deeply loved. For decades I lived with a God who I suspected had a contractual obligation to love me because of Jesus but who was generally disgusted with me. I fought grace because it seemed too easy. Not spiritual. Not enough sacrifice. Not enough obedience. Not enough...me. My friend John Lynch recently wrote this beautiful observation.

"Grace is not to free us from obeying the heart of God. Grace is the nutrient-rich soil that seeds of truth drop into so they're not choked by the self-condemnation of failure. Instead, no longer afraid of God's disgust, we can obey God from the heart rather than from compliance. And we grow into a beautiful, healthy tree-giving shade to others."

Paul wrote this to the Church at Ephesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.   Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2, NLT)

My fear of punishment led to strained and inconsistent compliance. Grace and forgiveness have led to joyful obedience nourished by gratitude and love. That is the product of the healing power of grace and I second my brother from Taursus. I can take NO credit for this.



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