Hope and Healing for the Abortion-Wounded

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

Dear Heavenly Father, how will they know if we do not speak. How will they know unless we raise our voices. You were sent to heal the brokenhearted, to speak and shout about liberty to the captives, and open the prison for those who have been bound. Oh Lord, may we find our courage to speak boldly and proclaim your truth for the healing of the broken and deliverance of the captives. Father, heal your beloved and set your people free. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Lisa Davis is the Deeper Still Chapter Leader of Northern Indiana. Lisa resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband Mike of thirty-three year. She has been working in post-abortion healing ministry for over twenty years.

Thank you Lisa for sharing a part of your story today and proclaiming the good news to the captives. The truth can only come about when we use our freed voices and share the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

lisa davis

I’m sure you heard the news. New York legalized abortion up to birth. However, New York is not the first. According to The Guttmacher Institute, seven other states and the District of Columbia already allow for abortion up to birth. These legislators are not hiding behind some idea that the unborn baby is not human. Rather, they place the decision of the mother before the rights of the baby. They are essentially saying that women need, and in fact, want abortion. They believe abortion is good for women. 

How is it they have come to believe this? I will tell you that after twenty years of working in the ministry to women who have had abortions, the vast majority of them would rather never breathe a word about their abortions to others. It is only after various combinations of depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship problems, parenting problems, or signs of PTSD that some of them come to the point of desperation for healing. Sometimes this complicated grief takes years, even decades to process and is often attributed to other things.

As an R.N., when I worked on a psychiatric unit, we asked our patients if they had any losses- jobs, relationships, people, pets. We never asked them if they lost a baby to abortion. Abortion is a loss that is self-induced and highly suppressed. However, no amount of denying the humanity of the unborn and elevating the rights of the mother can hide the truth that there is indeed a child lost. But there is hope for healing.

God pours out healing in many ways. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is enough to bring healing through the forgiveness of sins. But still, many women fear judgement from others and keep their abortion secret. Many women (and men) don’t completely embrace God’s forgiveness and still walk in condemnation.

How will legislators ever know the truth about how abortion effects women if the only voices they hear are those that “shout their abortion”? I believe the women who shout their abortion have denied the reality that abortion took the life of their baby. I know because I used to be in denial. It was only after years of infertility and the daily example of my two living children-direct siblings of our first baby, lost to abortion- that brought about a keen awareness of my terrible choice.

My abortion was in 1983 with my now husband. We were not married at that time and at that time, his response was permissive. After 33 years of marriage, we are finally walking in the freedom and calling that God has on our lives. Together, we now facilitate Deeper Still Retreats- where a large measure of our healing took place. We went to separate retreats for focus, but I was able to be at his retreat as a team member to minister to the women there. Most of the pictures with this post are from his retreat. Oh how God poured out His tender mercies there! 

Don’t let another day go by without receiving all that God has intended for you. His plans are to prosper you, not to harm you. He wants to bring you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).

-Lisa Davis, Deeper Still of Northern Indiana Chapter Leader

The president and founder of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison, has a book coming out very soon, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal, Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.  It will be available on Amazon soon. There is an awakening happening in our country and a hunger being stirred for those with abortion-wounds to find help and healing.

Our hearts break for those like Lisa mentioned who are in need of healing. Jesus came to bind the brokenhearted and to set the captives free. There is hope and there is help. Go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find out more about our retreats and where one is near you. Our retreats are free of charge.

Changing A Culture to Value Life

 

nmu pic

“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.” Psalm 46:6

Dear Heavenly Father, lift your voice through the many voices of others to change our culture to value life. Soften the hearts of your people to melt in this land. Open ears so they can hear and become torch-bearers to spread the message of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This past Sunday, January 20, was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This is a day set apart to honor life. Sanctity of Human Life is not only about awareness of life in the womb but the need to honor all lives, whether just conceived or one-hundred and three or somewhere in between. It is about cherishing those with special needs as well as celebrating those blessed with abilities beyond our human comprehension. In essence, all life is worthy of celebration and honor, because all humans are created in the image of God. We are all image-bearers.

This past Sunday, my family and I went to the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga. It is a powerful place with a wall full of plaques honoring children lost to abortion. If you go, you will be impacted, and you won’t be able to help it. Everyone should go.

While we were there, my sixteen-year old son, confessed something…something that took great courage and trust to speak out. He told me that a couple years ago he was pro-choice, and thought women should have a right to choose whether they wanted to have their baby or not. But now he understands that it isn’t about a women’s right to choose whether or not they want to have a baby but about a life inside the womb and it isn’t right to take that life.

Somewhere between two years ago and now, his heart changed. He saw the hurt abortion caused women and men. He saw the devastation in the lives of those it impacted and he had a revelation of the value of life. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but there must have been voices that spoke truth that penetrated his heart.

This is what our world needs…voices. We need men and women freed from the wounds of abortion to stand up and speak life and truth so other young men, like my son, can hear words of truth and decide to take a stand for valuing life.

The Founder and President of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison, wrote a book that will be released soon that speaks truth, Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal-Freedom for the Abortion-Wounded and Help for the Church They Fear.

It isn’t available yet, but it is coming soon. This book is a great tool for healing if you have had an abortion, a tool for understanding how abortion wounds, and for the church to understand what one-third of their congregation are living with and how to address this great need.

If we want our young men and women to understand and value life, it starts with us. It starts with us speaking words of life and love and compassion to those who are hurting. This is how a culture changes, one heart at a time, and then that person speaks life, and then another, until the message of love and healing is spread throughout the nations. We cannot change a culture with laws, it starts with individual hearts.

 

Two Things Needed for Resurrection

We cannot walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ without also partaking in His sufferings and even death to much of ourselves.1

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11

Father, as we say goodbye to another year and look toward a new year full of hope and promise, our thoughts ponder what was left behind last year and what is new to come for this year. Lord, it hurts when we suffer loss, but we are confident of the hope we have in you. Lord, we ask for your resurrection power in our lives. Resurrect what needs a resurrection in our lives this year, and what needs to remain dead, let it be.  In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.

Through Jesus Christ we have the hope of resurrection power. In Romans 8:11 we are told the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. That truth is potent. To say we want to experience resurrection power and the same power that raised Christ from the dead in our lives is a healthy and positive desire. However, for me personally, I hadn’t given much thought to what that really means.

Before there can be a resurrection, two things must happen. These two things are not pleasant and do not hold the same longing and desiring as the promise and glory of resurrection. These two things are suffering and death.

In the verses above, Philippians 3:8-11, Paul says he suffered the loss of all things. Wow. All. Things. He walked in great power and authority, but we must not ever think we can walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ without also partaking in His sufferings and even death to much of ourselves.

The cost was colossal for Paul, but the gain was greater. He gained Christ and found the truth of righteousness found in Him alone, not of himself, which is from the law. Through sufferings, Paul discovered the power of His resurrection.

Well, all that sounds good until you live it.

When we go through a suffering, there are things within us that die that need to die. Hidden sins emerge and there is a cutting off of old unhealthy patterns that need to be cut away for new life to blossom.

1 Peter 5:10 says, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

What a beautiful promise, like a rainbow after the rain. The rain will end, and in its place will be a covering of beauty.

The process of suffering and death to self will produce beauty and the promise of resurrection power will revive all that needs to be restored. What is resurrected is always better than before. Lazarus went into the grave sick but was resurrected with full health and wellness. Jesus was resurrected into glory.

As we begin this new year, may we have this hope and confidence, that our Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He breathes new life. Those parts of us that needed to die, may they remain dead. Those parts that need His resurrection power, I am believing with you for new life and beauty. Amen!

On His Shoulders

 

Unto us a child

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Father, we thank you for sending Jesus in the form of a babe in a manger. Your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not are thoughts. You gave us your Son, Love incarnate, in a manger…vulnerable, beautiful, lowly, humble. We have no words other to offer our sincere gratitude for your sacrifice for us, because of Your deep, unfathomable love for us. Thank you that all is on your shoulders. We adore you and offer our praise for the entirety of all that means—which is too awesome for us to comprehend. In Jesus’ Mighty name, Amen.

Isaiah 6:9 is familiar and often read during the Christmas season.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

This morning as these words were spoken during church, “the government will be on his shoulders” came alive in a fresh way. Suddenly it became evident that “government” on His shoulders could represent many different things in our lives.

When looking at the commentaries on Bible Hub, there is consensus that government refers to “a great burden or weight” or possibly represents a heavy regal robe.

In this world there is much to be troubled by just as Jesus even said there would be in John 16:33.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  

Different people are troubled by different things. It could be our earthly government, or another country’s government. I have friends in another country who are being oppressed as a result of their government’s policies. Perhaps it is marriage or relationship troubles or even a betrayal. Government could also stand for a system or organization such as a workplace, ministry, business, or school where there is a hierarchy of authority. In all these circumstances, Jesus is the head of all of them. All of these “governments”, if you will, are the Lord’s and as such, they are all on His shoulders.

This thought brings me much comfort. To know that all of our troubles and all of our earthly systems and all that we value is His, and on His shoulders gives me a feeling of freedom and relief.

He can handle all of the troubles and issues of the world on His shoulders. We cannot. We cannot even handle the ones we know of in our little world, let alone the ginormous ones of the world such as country governments and social injustice issues. Thankful He says to give them to Him (Matthew 11:30, Psalm 55:22) and to “Be of good cheer. For I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He has overcome all of it and holds all of it upon His shoulders. What is it you need to give him today? Is it your marriage? Your ministry? Your business? Your job? Your relationships (past, present or future)? Whatever the “government” is, you can rest this holiday season knowing it is on His shoulders. Just give it to Him and He will carry it. He’s a gentleman and He’ll only carry what we give Him.

What a beautiful gift from our Jesus this Christmas, the gift of His shoulders… to carry all our burdens on His shoulders.

It is one of the reasons He came. He wants to carry your weights and burdens. Will you let go and let Him carry it on His shoulders? Whatever “it” is. 

 

The Miracle of Restoration

This is what Jesus Christ does...this is Who He is.

“‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.'” Luke 15: 21

Most Christians are familiar with the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. However, most Christians have not experienced this kind of amazing immediate grace demonstrated by the father in this passage. 

After my abortion, years passed and much work was needed to be done on my part in the form of Bible studies and renewing my mind to the truth of God’s Word before I could accept the miracle of Luke 15–the miracle of restoration. My restoration was not immediate. Not because God’s grace wasn’t sufficient, but because of my lack of understanding of the miraculous work of the cross of Jesus Christ. 

The sin could be abortion or any sin in your life, but what this passage demonstrates is the miraculous immediate restoration offered by the Father. There was no period of penance. There was not a period of time this son was required to feel bad about himself or carry shame for his behavior. The blood of Jesus is available immediately, there isn’t a waiting line or time requirement before accepting the price He paid for us. The difficulty is feelings of unworthiness of the gift stand between us and freedom. 

What an incredibly beautiful gift this Christmas season–the gift of restoration to a place of honor. This is what Jesus Christ does…this is Who He is. 

Oftentimes as Christians, we feel the need to carry shame and feel bad about ourselves even after we have repented. Somehow we even feel this pleases God. However, allowing shame to hold us captive doesn’t serve any good purpose. This feeling of defeat and feeling less-than is a tactic of the enemy with a voice that whispers, “Who are you? Look what you did. You will never be good enough. You are unworthy.”  

Grace must not be cheapened, and this is by no means lessening the sin of abortion. Abortion is a horrific life-taking sin. But when true repentance, sorrow, and grief over this sin occurs, it is our duty and privilege as believers to offer this grace of Luke 15 to others and even to ourselves. 

What would our lives look like if we truly lived out Luke 15? For the son in Luke 15, he knew he didn’t deserve to be restored to the place of honor as son. And legally, this father could have refused him or made him repay for all he squandered. But that isn’t the way of the kind and gentle Father. Instead, the father not only forgave and received him, he restored him to a place of honor giving him: a robe of righteousness, a ring symbolizing authority, and sandals representing that he was a son and not a servant since servants did not wear sandals at that time.  

This is the heart of the Father. If you have had an abortion or if there is another sin that has kept you in bondage to shame, guilt, and condemnation, there is hope for you today.

Will you receive His miracle of amazing grace today for yourself. He is calling you out of the darkness, to stand up, put on your robe, ring and sandals! 

Can you hear Him calling you today?

Stand up ____________.  Here is your robe, ring, and sandals. Wear them my beloved daughter/son. For my daughter/son was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found. 

Deep Calls Unto Deep {Prayer for Hawaii Retreat}

Hawaii post (1)

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterspout; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me–a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42: 7-8

Father, Your voice calls to the deep places within us, the places we would like to keep buried beneath the surface.  But your voice calls as waves crash breaking up the ground until we surrender our will and allow you into the depths of our hearts. Even though the hard waves break against our shores, you surround us with your lovingkindness and sing your song of love over us. Lord, as the participants are coming in Hawaii for Hawaii’s first Deeper Still retreat being held this week, may the beauty of your creation sing over them and remind them of your lovingkindness as deep calls unto deep. Give them beauty for ashes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 42:7 sounds like a sweet verse until the context of the entire Psalm is read. The Psalmist was in distress when he wrote this verse. Have you ever been to the ocean? Waves and billows are not nice and comfortable blankets of deliverance. Waves are violent and billows are heaps, strong and fierce. 

Some translations have the beautiful word of “waterfalls” instead of “waterspouts.” Waterfalls sound tranquil and soothing, but again, waterfalls may sound peaceful, but they are dangerous and powerful. The word “waterspouts” is a water conduit, or a pipe through which water flows. 

The deep parts of the Lord call to the deep parts within us. His voice calls to those places buried deep within us through this water conduit or pipe. When the waves have crashed over us again and again and we feel as if we may be consumed by the billows as they roll continually over us, we can hear the Lord’s voice calling. He will command His lovingkindness in the daytime and sing His song over us in the night for He is the God of life. He is the One who calls the seas to still and calms the crashing waves. Only He can silent the storms of our souls. 

The first Deeper Still retreat is being held in Hawaii this week. The retreat begins Tuesday, Nov 27 and ends Nov 29. It is only three days, but much can happen in only three days. 

Psalm 42:7-8 also reminds me of how volcanos erupt. Magma is under the surface until pressure is applied and it rises to the top and spews out as lava. The magma was always there under the surface but it does not rise to the top until the conditions are right. The pain in our hearts from the wounds of abortion can act like magma. The wounds are there and when pressures come, the pain cannot be contained any longer.  The pain spews out in destructive ways and hurts whatever is in its path. 

However, there is hope.  Just as the flow of lava lays the foundation for a beautiful tropical island, the ashes of our pain births beauty. 

If the magma never surfaced, we would have missed the beauty.  And if the waves and billows would not have crashed over us, we would have missed the voice of the Lord calling deep unto deep from the waterspout. Waterfalls are beautiful but powerful and relentless, like our God.  Waterfalls, waves, billows, lava are not gentle, they are dangerous. But all create beauty. 

As you work through the pain of abortion-wounds or other wounds in your life, may you find hope as this Psalmist did, that there is beauty on the other side of this pain and the Lord will command His lovingkindness and sing songs of deliverance in the night. The waves, lava and the night won’t last forever, this is His promise. 

If you have an abortion-wounded heart, there is hope. Go to www.godeeperstill.org to see where the closest retreat is to you.

 

Praise and Thankfulness

“I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.” Psalm 109:30 

“[We] do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in [our] prayers.” Ephesians 1:16

Father, we give thanks to you for all you did last week to encourage these 30 leaders who attended the Deeper Still Chapter Leader Conference. We give thanks to you for these faithful prayer and financial supporters who stand with us in the fight for freedom and healing the abortion-wounded hearts across this nation and world.  May we never cease to give thanks. Lord, we will greatly praise you with our mouths and we praise you among the multitude! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Last week thirty of the Deeper Still Chapter Leaders from nine states and one international leader attended the first Deeper Still Chapter Leaders Conference held at beautiful Eagle Rock Retreat Center in Tallassee, TN.  

Huge thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ and all of you who prayed for this time together. The Lord is expanding the tent borders of Deeper Still and we recognize this growth would not be possible without your prayer support and partnership. We appreciate you and give thanks for you! 

From all of us at Deeper Still…Thank you! 

Chapter Leader pic

Prayer for Chapter Leader Conference

Three stranded cord

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Father, how amazing are you! Thank you for how you are expanding the ministry of Deeper Still across the nation and into the world. Father, we ask for this first chapter leaders conference to be full of many blessings from you for each person coming. We ask for you to strengthen and encourage each leader and impart your wisdom and knowledge. Father, I pray that as we come together, that iron would sharpen iron and together we would be strengthened united in your purpose to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. In Jesus’ Mighty name, Amen. 

Next week, the Deeper Still ministry will hold its first Chapter Leaders Conference. There will be thirty people coming representing ten chapters from nine states and one international chapter leader. How the Lord has been expanding the Deeper Still Ministry is amazing. 

The Lord doesn’t call us to do ministry alone. Jesus even had a team of twelve. Team is a foundation of the Deeper Still ministry. A team comes together and everyone brings his/her own strengths, gifts, talents, and abilities. When this functions properly, the team becomes a picture of the body of Christ working together to accomplish Kingdom purposes. 

A cord with only one strand is not as strong as a cord with three strands. This scripture is often used in weddings and was used in mine as well. The pastor performing the ceremony held up a rope, and used this scripture as a reference explaining each of us is one strand and the Holy Spirit is the third strand. Good analogy and true. 

This can also be applied to ministry. One strand is the individual person, the other is the team Jesus has put together around us, with the third strand being the Holy Trinity. All three are needed. We need community, the body of Christ, around us for healthy living and ministry. We need Jesus, and we need each other. 

Next week as we meet to gird up these leaders, called women and men of God to a common and higher purpose, I pray their hearts would be knit together in unity and for each to be strengthened as they come together with the Holy Spirit. Let them hold on first to you, Lord, and then come around one another to encourage each other that they may not be easily broken. 

Praise God for all He is doing to expand and grow the Deeper Still ministry! 

The Cure for Insecurity

I have chosen you.I have not cast you away.Fear not, I am with you.Be not distressed when the unexpected happensI am your God.I will strengthen you.Yes, I will help you.I will uphold you

“I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10

Recently a friend of mine shared a Chinese story with me based on a true story about a girl who was promised to marry a man of great wealth and influence. She was raised and groomed to be this man’s wife and was told how privileged and special she was from an early age to be chosen to be his wife.

However, right before they were to be married, this man was taken by traffickers and sold into trafficking in the United States. This man and woman never actually met, but due to the Chinese culture and custom, she was still legally “married” to this man even though he was gone. She lived in the wealth of his household and had access to all he owned.

A few years later, she too was taken captive and sold into trafficking in the United States. However, no matter how badly others treated her, she remained confident of who she was and her true identity.  She knew this was not her own doing, but it was being done to her and it could not define her. Her identity had been set at a young age and she knew who she truly was, a daughter destined for greatness and deserving of privilege and honor. She was beaten, abused in horrific ways, looked down upon, disgraced, and rejected. Still, her dignity and honor remained unscathed. Nothing shook her identity or security.

There is more to this story and who knows how much is true, but her secure position of identity in the midst of great pain, suffering, and injustice was remarkable.

Identity or lack of identity set in our youth greatly impacts the security of our future.

In this story, her secure foundation of identity in the value of who she was defined her even in the midst of horrific circumstances.

In most of our stories, the opposite happens. Often the stories I hear involve neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and/or emotional abuse. In these stories, secure identity was not set at an early age. The trauma endured has set a course of responses in life. So much so that as we enter into adulthood, our circumstances can change and everything in our life can seem healthy and normal, but our emotional reactions and lack of identity set at an early age can cause us to be insecure even in the middle of the most secure relationships and circumstances.

What is the cure for this? How can an entire upbringing lacking in the most basic essentials of human emotional needs, and negative horrific harmful behaviors be undone so we can be secure? How can we live in our good new normal and enjoy the blessings God has given us? Will we ever stop being triggered from the trauma of our past?

The cure for insecurity is security.

Yes, I know that sounds possibly too simple but so many biblical truths are simple truths.

The cure for insecurity is security in Christ. Letting Christ be our rock, strong tower,  mighty fortress, and the anchor for our soul is vital in our search for security.

One verse to start with in building up security is Isaiah 41:9-10:

“I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Each of these sentences is a rich promise from the Lord:

I have chosen you.

I have not cast you away.

Fear not, I am with you.

Be not dismayed (distressed when the unexpected happens)

I am your God.

I will strengthen you.

Yes, I will help you.

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (What security! To know He is holding you up!)

As my friend and the founder of Hope-Redefined, Lyschel Burkett, stated, “This verse changes the way I show up in the world.”

To be able to show up in the world knowing you are chosen by the One who formed the Universe and know He is for you is a big yet humbling esteem booster.

May we not grab onto anything of this world to define who we are and our true identities. Abortion, abuse, affairs, addiction, abandonment, or anything else can define us without our agreement. We can choose to refuse to agree with what the world would have us believe and instead choose to agree with the One who created the world with His Words.

Chosen one, He will not cast you away. Do not be distressed. He is your God and He will strengthen you. He will help you and hold you up so you won’t fall. Be secure in His security.

Today, here is prayer you can pray to build up security in Him…

Father, thank you that you have chosen me, that you do not cast me away. Thank you that you are with me, and that you are mine and I am yours. Father, thank you for strengthening me and helping me and holding me up so I don’t fall. Thank you for making me secure in your security. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

 

 

 

 

Miracle on the Mountain

Sometimes God uses a process of healing to cultivate intimacy and trust, and other times He chooses a miracle.

“Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins–He said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.'” Luke 5:23-24

About noon, my foot gently slipped while walking over gravel on the way to the dining hall at Eagle Rock Retreat Center. We had all been hustling about in preparation for the Deeper Still retreat to start later that day. Nothing big. My foot didn’t hurt and I continued walking and talking with a friend as we made our way to lunch not thinking another thought about my stumble.

Seven hours later, the Deeper Still retreat had started. Three team members made their way to the front of the room to share their testimonies before we all broke into small groups to share our stories. Out of nowhere, I began to feel excruciating pain build in my left ankle. The longer I sat, the worse it became. It was difficult to focus on the stories being shared up front as I tried to hide my wincing from the agony in my ankle.

Feeling like this could be spiritual and an attack since I was leading a small group that night, my first inclination was to press through and not let this hindrance hinder.  As I stood up when it was time to break into groups, I realized this pain was not only real, it was worse than I thought.  I took off my cute boots, opted for more sensible shoes, and made the trek from the main building to the building next door where we would meet for sharing our stories.

As our group shared their stories, the pain intensified and while I was able to hide the wincing in the big group, it was more difficult in the small group to hide my pain. This is true in life as well. It is easier to hide our pain in crowds than in close-knit settings.

After a few stories, I knew if I didn’t excuse myself from the group, my foot could go from a nuisance to a distraction. By this time, my ankle was swollen, red, and hot. As I stood up to excuse myself, I realized I couldn’t walk on my left foot at all. One of the other sweet team members carried me on piggy-back to the main building. Four team members loved on me and cared for me, brought me ice and ibuprofen, and prayed for me.

Tears ran down my face as I endured the pain, but those tears were for more than just a sore ankle. A fresh internal wound had shaken me prior to this retreat and internally I was hurting far worse than my ankle. My wobbly foot reflected the unsteadiness in my soul. Insecurities had risen from this heart wound, revealing the need for a more deeply rooted anchor that would not be easily shaken.

Over the past several weeks as I had tried to work through this heart wound, internally I was extremely wobbly.  When we feel wobbly, we may reach for external sources to try to steady our steps and we may even hope for a piggy-back ride while we work through the painful process of recovery. As we search for our foundation, we may try to find security or confidence in people, performance, possessions, or positions. But these were never meant to hold us up nor can they. They are not God. There is only one God and only He can hold us up and give us true and lasting security.

Other times, people reach for external substances or addictions such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, or food, but it isn’t limited to those. Anything used to replace Jesus is a stronghold that is less than adequate and dangerous. It will not comfort longterm, and only leads to destruction.   

As I sat there with my foot elevated, numb from ice and tears falling down my face, I knew the Lord was very close to me (He is always close to the brokenhearted-Psalm 34:18). I said to Him, “Lord, you know I am already hurting internally and now this?” My heart was sad as I knew that if I couldn’t walk in the morning, I would need to go home. It would be too much of a distraction if I couldn’t walk the next day.

I quietly whispered to Him, “Lord, would you heal me? If you don’t heal me, I’ll have to go home. I can’t not be able to walk.” With those last words of the night, I went to sleep.

Morning came. I hesitantly put my foot on the ground and stood up. No pain! No wobbling! I was completely healed! There was no more pain, swelling or anything! I even danced later that day! God had completely healed my ankle!

How sweet of Him to restore my ankle to wholeness and take all the pain away. What a beautiful promise and reflection of what He is doing internally as well, not just in my heart but what He was eager to do in every hurting heart on that mountain. He is Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals.

Sometimes God uses a process of healing to cultivate intimacy and trust, and other times He chooses a miracle. 

This miracle was a faith builder for every participant in the room and a declaration from Him that the same God who heals the lame, is able to forgive all sins and heal the brokenhearted.

All I know is that I couldn’t walk and now I am healed. I was blind but now I see. I was wobbly and now I am standing firmly on the Rock. He is faithful. He is unwavering. He is never wobbly or insecure. We can count on Him to be our strength. He will carry us to a place of healing, firmly rooted and secure in His love. There is no other anchor that will hold. Only Jesus.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ” Psalm 147:3

Father, forgive us when we look to anything else to be our source of comfort or security. May you be our Rock and firm foundation. Thank you for how you heal and bind up our wounds. Thank you Lord that you care about every detail of our lives. Thank you for being our Healer.  Lord, we ask you do it again this weekend in Fallbrook, CA, as another retreat is being held there this weekend. Do it again and heal every heart there. You are the miracle worker and we love you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.