Tuesday, September 22, 2009


There is a difference between what we experience with "woundedness and healing," and what we experience with "death and resurrection." Let me detail the differences:

Woundedness and healing...

- process is natural
- restoration is expected and gradual
- time is an ally
- treat it and work it out
- incremental turnaround
- friends can help you
- advice is called for

Death and resurrection...

- process is supernatural
- restoration is unexpected and sudden
- time is an enemy
- grieve it and let it go
- dramatic turnaround
- only God can help you
- miracle is called for

When looking at your own life, or the lives of others, it is helpful to keep in mind these distinctions. For matters of woundedness and healing, Christian counseling, a "how to" sermon series, or small group support can make a big difference. For matters of death and resurrection, there is not much that can be done, except to wait on God for a miracle. Many believers become frustrated waiting on God for healing and restoration, not understanding that the process they are going through is more likened to a resurrection from the dead. It's not that God won't be able to bring about restoration, it's that ONLY GOD will be able to do it, and He will do it in his way, and in his time, and sometimes as a complete surprise.

As I think back on the darkest period of my life, in which I left the ministry and was filled with anger and doubt, I can see that it was more than just a wounding that needed healing. It was a death. It was the death of "David, the pastor." It was the death of a vision. It was the death of life under my control. Years later God pulled me out of the miry clay and set my feet on a rock. As I look back now, I don't view my recovery as a healing, I view it as a resurrection. God sovereignly intervened in my story. As the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" says, "All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty back together again." But while the king's men can't put the pieces together again, the King can!

Many Christian leaders want to "fix" problems when they see them. We want to view broken marriages, failed ministries and personal tragedies as challenges that need our coaching. But sometimes, what we're looking at cannot be solved with salve. It's deeper than that. There is nothing that we are going to be able to say or do to bring restoration. God is going to have to resurrect the story from the dead. At these times, we're better off to function more like the mortician than the physician. Issue the death certificate. Let them know that the marriage is dead. Let them know that their life, as they've known it, is over. Eulogize. Help them throw the dirt on the coffin. But here is the beautiful thing about the kingdom of God. Just when we think it's over, it's not. God loves to raise the dead.

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