Continued from here.
One of the reasons that we do not immediately die and go to heaven when we receive Christ as Savior is because once we submit to God’s authority, our lives stop being about us. God loves everyone and wants to be reconciled with everyone. We are His Body on this earth to reach out to others. Many of those who are separated from God are in bondage, and we can best reach them by maintaining empathy toward what it feels like to be in bondage. The slow miracle enables us to stay empathetic to the pain and challenges of living with difficulty and impossibility.
Another one of my slow miracles was healing from the child abuse. While therapy took me a long way, I continued to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that my therapist said would never fully heal. He said that PTSD is something that is not healed so much as managed. Instead of having hard months with a few good days or weeks, the ratio would shift to having good months interspersed with few hard days or weeks, but hardship related to the PTSD would always be a part of my life. I did not experience healing of my deepest emotional wounds until I obeyed God in forgiving my abusers, and that took time … lots and lots of time. I prayed for them day after day, week after week, and month after month for over a year before I was finally able to forgive them. I knew I had forgiven them when the pain was gone.
Because this was such a long and difficult process for me (a slow miracle), I retain empathy for those who live in a state of unforgiveness, which (sadly) is most people, even Christians. If God had instantly healed my childhood pain without requiring me to forgive, I am certain I never would have obeyed God in doing so. My pain was so heavy that I was willing to do ANYTHING – even obey God in praying for my enemies – to find relief. Even though I forgave my childhood abusers years ago, I continue to remember the pain and heaviness of unforgiveness, which gives me deep empathy for those who are hurting as they continue to feed their bitterness toward those who have wronged them.
I have more to say on this topic, so we’ll continue discussing miracles next week.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding her hand over her heart and saying, “I feel U.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]