As we consider the spring season and anticipate the celebration of Easter Sunday, many things are also brought to mind – the blooming of flowers, budding trees and new and fresh beginnings.
For those of us who serve in this counseling ministry, new beginnings are particularly meaningful and rewarding, as they indicate a transformative intervention of the Holy Spirit to heal and strengthen relationships and individuals. It seems that healing from the brokenness of the pain and struggles of this life are all part of God’s plan for us.
In their book, Experiencing God, Henry and Richard Blackaby do an excellent job of boldly stating that we are errant when we call on God, asking Him to join us in our work. They say, “Don’t keep asking God to bless your plans and goals or those of your church. Rather, look for God’s invitation to join Him in accomplishing His work.” Now, I realize that to some, it may sound almost blasphemous to say that – I recall the first time I read it years ago. I thought, “Are you kidding me? Since when do I not ask God for help? Aren’t we told to ‘Let our requests be known to God. . .’ in Philippians 4:6?”
Then I read on, and realized that it actually makes a lot of sense, as the Blackabys continue, “When you identify where God is at work and respond in love to His invitation, you’ll experience Him at work in and through your life. There is no more wonderful experience than being at the heart of God’s activity.”
Those of us who have been called to serve God’s people as we join Him in the work He is doing through A Future and a Hope Ministries, clearly see the power of His love to heal and restore – to renew and renovate the brokenness we encounter in the hearts and souls of those we counsel.
Over and over, what is obvious to us is that it is absolutely NOT us who provide the healing – It is God Himself, ministering to His people through us! We are merely the ‘human agency instruments’ He has called to join Him where He is at work. As we witness God at work in His people, we are both amazed and blessed.
Of the many who have answered His call, God has assembled a strong and dedicated team, as He has equipped us and gifted us that we may be able to be used in this ministry.
An example of what I’m referring to is one of our more recent cases, a couple who came to our ministry seeking healing of a broken and struggling marriage. The wife was struggling with substance abuse and a deep sense of unworthiness that seemed to permeate most of her choices with harmful results.
Her husband loves her and initially blamed himself for the marital discord and her need to self-medicate with alcohol. God, Who is an active participant in marriages, helped them both to realize His intent for bringing them together and His plan for both them and their children. The decision this couple made to cooperate with the healing touch of the Holy Spirit, yielding their wills to all that God had for them, with a firm commitment to not settle for anything less, made all the difference to their family’s now hopeful outlook.
One of the first things that we do when a couple begins the journey towards healing is to ask them the three questions from Dr. George Kenworthy’s book, Before the Last Resort: Do you believe in God?; Are you willing to apply biblical principles to your life and your marriage?; and, Will you pray, individually and together, that the power of the Holy Spirit will heal your marriage? One thing we have observed, without reservation, is that if they answer yes to these questions, and will commit to the process of God’s healing, they can have the marriage God planned for them – and that they had always dreamed about. . . And this couple did – and they are blessed to now have a joyful, peaceful and loving marriage, as they model a godly marriage to their young children.
This process is a test of faith for all concerned; the clients and the counselors. As we trust in His promises, God brings the relief we seek for the brokenness and struggles of this life. Friends, we can have complete trust in the Word of God, as we answer His call to faith in Him. Psalm 18, verse 30 says it well. “This God—His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
As you greet the spring season and prepare your heart for the promise of Easter morning, we pray that you have faith, hope, love and peace in Him,