HEALING THE WOUNDED HEART, PART 3
We have seen in part 1 of THE WOUNDED HEART that we cannot expect to be able to come close to God until
- we humble ourselves,
- have asked Him forgiveness for our sins of the past and for remaining bitter toward people who wounded us,
- invited Jesus to come and live in our heart,
- seek Him with all our heart,
- are thankful for all His blessings,
- and ask Him to clean our heart.
I believe that when Father God causes a woman to become pregnant, and Father breezes the spirit of life into that tiny egg, a fully developed spirit is already there, and very sensitive. Father has known that spirit from the beginning and has all along had a plan for that now developing complete human being, adding to the spirit a soul and body. It is just as God said to the prophet Jeremiah in 1:4:
“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you and set you apart for myself; I have a specific plan for your life.”
During the course of our life we protect ourselves so often against getting hurt as we were before, that it isolates our heart, our spirit, so that we lose much of our ability to have fellowship with men and God. That fits in so well with Jesus statement in Matt 18:3-4:
“Unless you are converted, and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Without a childlike attitude of fearless living it is difficult to trust people; and
without trust we just cannot have satisfying relationships.
We can block all kinds of injuries from our memory rather than forgiving? Here I give some typical examples of what may have been the case in your life:
- Maybe your father and mother always fought.
- Maybe your father often beat your mother and you children.
- Maybe your father often came home drunk and scared all of you.
- Maybe your father never was there and you blamed him without really knowing why he was not there.
- Maybe boys have bullied you when you were young, and made you do bad things.
- Maybe an older brother or sister may have hated or pestered you.
- You may have been called stupid and good for nothing.
- Your mom may have brought you to a witchdoctor because you were very sick, and the witchdoctor made covenants between you and demons so you would get better.
All such things will impact your life in a powerful and negative way, but Jesus came to heal and free us. Here is what He read from Isaiah on the Sabbath day in a Synagogue, and He said that He was now fulfilling that prophecy.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Discuss these Questions:
- Who knew you first, your parents or our God and Father?
- Can proud people come to God, or should we be as children before Him?
- Do you see that Jesus came to heal people with broken hearts?
- That Jesus wants to set us free from imprisonment of our hearts?
- That Jesus wants to open our spiritual eyes?
- That He wants to make us free of oppression?
There are many types of heart wounds possible, and we all responded to them in fear or anger and unforgiveness. Such bitterness and malice will haunt us all of our lives unto the day when we as yet forgive and let go. Above all we must forgive our God and Father who we so often have blamed, but who was actually standing beside us and was in great pain for us; He was grieving over our loss and our pain. Oh, He is such a tender and merciful God, but he will do nothing for us if in pride and arrogance we don’t even try to hear and see Him. I hope that you will want to let Him clean your heart, whatever the cost, whatever pain you may end up having to go through again; it is worth it all. And don’t just ask Him once, but keep asking Him until you get an answer that satisfies you. It may not be the answer you wanted, but allow it to satisfy your heart and longing. Remember, He wants you to start fulfilling HIS plan for your life. If you come to God with a humble, repentant heart, and cry out for His mercies, you can trust that He WILL hear and answer you. This can become the best part of your life. It sure has become so for me since my wife died, a wife I loved so very much. But I allowed Him to clean my heart, and can now finally serve Him without all those bitter wounds. I now love to serve my big, loving, almighty and merciful Father.
Here is Psalm 130:
“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, so that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. He shall redeem Israel from all his sins.”
Do you notice these details?
- The writer is in deep despair.
- He is not praying a little bit, but he cries out to God.
- He understands that he is not coming to God because he is a good man; he realizes that his sins are unpardonable except for God’s totally undeserved mercies.
- The writer trusts enough in God that he can say: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits with an intense longing, and in His word I put my hope.”
- He encourages Israel to hope in the Lord for His mercies and abundant redemption. “God shall redeem His people, including you and me, from all sins.”
If you come to God with this kind of a humble, repentant heart, and cry out for His mercies, you can trust that He WILL hear and answer you. This can become the best part of your life. It sure has become so for me since my wife died, a wife I loved so very much, and yet now I have the best years of my life as I serve my big, loving, almighty and merciful God.
I like to share with you an example of healing of a wounded heart of my own life. As a young child I remember my parents often yelling at each other; that hurt my feelings deeply and made me afraid. My mother could not cuddle her little babies or breast feed them. That was very difficult for her. I cannot even remember ever having been kissed by her when I was young. These things made me judge her as not loving me. I was totally wrong there, but judged her nevertheless. And that caused me to isolate myself so much within my spirit. I had great trouble feeling accepted as a person, began doubting of I ever could be loved. But when I was eight years old I had my first girlfriend, Tieneke. We would walk hand in hand to school and enjoyed each other so much; she was the first person I remember who accepted me, little Casey, the way I was. I even remember that we agreed that we would marry when we would be grown-ups. That was a brief, but wonderful time in my life. I was in the third form and she in the second of our primary school when she was accidentally shot and killed when her family crossed the Netherlands border into Belgium. I remember so many little details of that event:
- My mother told me early the next morning, standing outside her bedroom door in the hallway. There were no arms around me to comfort me, just the statement and an “I am sorry”.
- I felt bewildered.
- In school we were told that we were going to be at the funeral and would sing Christian songs there.
- I remember practicing those songs in our sports-hall.
- I remember even today the songs we then sang.
- I remember the principal saying that we had to smile when we sang “But there has always been forgiveness with You, Oh God”. And I
- thought with rage in my heart: “Smile? Smile? Don’t you know that I lost everything just now?” I hated that teacher then and there.
- I was told: “Big boys don’t cry”, but I was not even big yet. I had to stuff all my feeling down, suppress them.
- At the grave site I still see the border officer behind me; I can still see the grief in his face and felt sorry for him. That surprises me now.
- I remember that the children of Tieneke’s class stepped on the dirt pile beside the grave to reach over and drop some flowers on the coffin. And no one asked me to do so too; and in a feeling of rage I thought: “Does then nobody know that she is MY friend?” And I felt all alone in the world again and ignored.
In the year 2000, almost 2 years after my wife had died of cancer I saw a counselor to help me with wounds of my heart; I wanted healing so much as I wanted to come closer to God by then. The counselor had led me to ask the Holy Spirit to bring any wound to my memory, a place of my heart with pain. But no revelation had come except for suddenly the name Tieneke Coolen. “I get no answer from the Holy Spirit”, I had said after some time waiting. “Let us pray again because God is faithful” was the answer, and I had asked again for revelation. After some time waiting, I suddenly heard that name Tieneke Coolen again. “Well”, I said, “I get nothing, but twice I hear the name Tieneke Coolen, but there is no pain there.” “Who is that?” questioned my counselor. And I told her about Tieneke, “But there is no pain there”, I repeated, “I still remember so much detail of what happened around those days, but there is no pain there”, and I began telling the entire story; I even sang right there for the counselor two of the songs in Dutch from the funeral service. And then the counselor asked me “But how does little Casey feel about that?” “Huh, feel?”, was my first thought. ”What does that have to do with it? Feel? Feel?” “Well, if that is what she wants, let me try”. And suddenly, as my heart was trying to understand that little boy I had been so many years ago, all hell of that long ago moment in time opened up and I cried as I cannot remember ever having done before or since. I sobbed and sobbed, and could not stop for at least twenty minutes; for weeks after that revelation I could
not tell the story to anyone, or the tears would start rolling all over again.
I tell you this story so that you may see how our heart can deceive us into believing that all is OK. My spirit was not OK, not for 54 years. My spirit had been in a rage for that many years. God removed so much pain in the first few weeks following that revelation, and I began to be able to open up to others like never before. Here is some of the judging I had done when Tieneke was killed, judging I had to undo now by forgiving the people involved:
- I judged God for allowing this to have happened.
- I judged my mother for not caring and comforting me; I desperately had needed to be held. She did care, but could not convey that so I would know.
- My father wasn’t there at all, it seemed. No one holding me in their arms. No one said “I am so sorry for you Casey!”
- I judged everyone for saying nothing to me, as if she was not my friend.
- I judged everyone for not caring about me, and from then on even believed that lie.
- I judged the school principal for forcing me even to smile while singing.
- I judged the school for not letting me drop flowers on her coffin.
- I am sure that I do not even remember all the judging anymore that I did.
I judged with a furious rage and indignation. Oh, how I made myself believe the lie that no one cared about me. That is a terrible lie through which I did not even try anymore to be accepted by people. When I finally found the young lady I would marry, some peace came inside me, because she loved me with all her heart.
Please talk about this story together, and ask yourself if there could be a similar deceptive heart inside of you that says that everything was OK. I even encourage you to share with the others if God’s Spirit right now reminds you of a similar hurting event in your life and how it has affected you.
Remember the earlier reading from Jeremiah 17:9 that said:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart.”
END OF LESSON