Courage to Heal from Inner Pain

By Grantley Morris


Courage to Heal from Inner Pain

A man speeds off on a dirt bike into a wilderness. He crashes. His legs are mangled and his bike is unrideable. In an amazing act of survival, he drags himself mile after mile until finally reaching help.

Then he refuses medical treatment. “I can keep taking painkillers,” he says. “I’m tough. I’ve got the guts to stop myself from feeling like a cripple. I don’t want anyone’s help. I’ll live with my injuries, thank you.” He spends the rest of his life in a wheelchair because he is too scared to undergo surgery that would end his pain and enable him to walk again.

Can you imagine anyone being so ridiculous? To my distress, I keep seeing the equivalent over and over. I see people haunted by past traumas, suffering deep inner wounds that have crippled them for so long that they cannot even imagine how fulfilling life could be for them. And yet they remain too frightened to heal. Scared by the unknown cost and consequences of healing, they needlessly suffer, and miss out on so much good.

During World War II, the Japanese captured the Philippines. Eventually the Japanese were defeated. A Japanese soldier refused to surrender and went into hiding. That was heroic.

At the end of the war Japan began to rebuild but this soldier stayed in hiding in the Philippines, eking out a meager existence, remaining needlessly destitute and cut off from his country, his family and friends, year after year, decade after decade. That was as pitiful as it was tragic.

So it is with anyone who refuses to do what it takes to heal from inner pain.

It can take as much heroism to heal as it did to survive what you originally suffered. In fact, healing is usually far more heroic – not because it is more distressing than what you have already endured but because every step of the healing journey is an act of freewill.

The last thing I want is to criticize anyone who refuses to heal. What I yearn for, however, is to help motivate such people to become the heroes they are capable of being. And I do not use the word “hero” casually. I am convinced that for all eternity, heaven will hail such people as true heroes who took Jesus’ hand and with him turned tragedy into triumph. Their achievement might be little understood on earth but those worthy of heaven will have their eyes opened to true heroism.

“Wilt thou be made whole?” asked Jesus of the man who had been hopelessly crippled for thirty-eight years (John 5:6, KJV). What initially sounds like a stupid question turns out to be a most critical, highly penetrating question that cuts to the core.

If he decided he truly wanted to be healed, his entire world, as he had known it, would crumble. The instant he accepted healing, the beggar’s livelihood would evaporate. No longer would people see him worthy of charity. He would have to work for a living and yet here he was, an adult who had never developed work skills, nor even a work ethic. Suddenly there would be so many responsibilities he would be expected to take up, each of which he would have to learn from scratch, so very many years behind every other man his age.

Blind Bartimaeus, of whom Jesus asked a similar question (Mark 10:51), suddenly gained the potential to read and write but he had missed years of learning. Did he have the patience and humility to start learning as an adult?

Jesus is not an abuser, forcing himself or his healing upon people. As much as he longs to heal us, he waits until we are willing.

The Old Testament Scriptures, says the New, were divinely recorded to warn and instruct we who live under the New Testament (Scriptures). So let’s commence learning:

    * Let’s learn from the Israelites who broke God’s heart by wanting the humiliation of returning in defeat to slavery in Egypt, rather than persist with the prolonged sacrifices that freedom entailed (Numbers 11:1; 14:3-4). We can expect the healing journey to be long and hard.

    * They later frustrated God’s plan to bless them by refusing to enter the Promised Land for fear of facing giants (Deuteronomy 1:27-35). The healing journey promises much, but it is scary.

    * Like them recognizing their mistake too late and having to wander in the wilderness for many more years (Numbers 14:40-45), we must bravely do things God’s way without delay or suffer the consequences.

    * The next generation compromised with the enemy and failed to appropriate what was theirs for the taking, thus making life unnecessarily difficult for themselves and their descendants (Joshua 23:12-13; Judges 2:1-4). Likewise, we can make great progress and yet still get stuck at any point in the journey to full healing. Like them, we can end up missing out on God’s best, with consequences not just for us but for our loved ones.

The stakes are high, though perhaps not as high as in the Old Testament examples. The spiritual principles, however, remain firm.

If you cannot embrace healing for yourself or your loved ones, at least do it for God. If you cannot do it for the significant earthly benefits, at least do it for the, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and for the eternal reward. I beg you not to act like the servant in Jesus’ parable who buried the talent entrusted to him, rather than developing it.

The last thing I want you to do is to force yourself into some supposed therapeutic method I have devised. Nor am I for a moment suggesting you set up your own healing program or that of any other human. Instead, I am begging you to seek God as to the methods and timing (and the degree of human help) he wants for you, and to bravely go with him on your healing journey wherever and whenever he leads.

Rest in the assurance that God’s way is perfect, filled with loving wisdom infinitely beyond anything any human could dream up. He will personalize your healing journey because you are unique, and no one in the universe is more loved, nor more special to God than you. Most of us find that staggeringly difficult to believe because no one else has ever come close to treating us that way. But God is astonishingly different to anyone else, having no human flaws or limitations. You might like to reassure yourself of how special you are to God by reading How Much does God Love Me? and links on that page.

Related Pages

(Despite certain similarities in some titles, each of the following covers quite different matters to this page)

Living in Denial?

Courage to Heal from Sexual Abuse

God, Counselors & Inner Healing

Personalized support
Grantley Morris:

© 2012, Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at  Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.

[D.I.D. Help] [Much More!] [E-Mail Me]
[Bless & Be Blessed by Facebook] [Daily Quotes] [My Shame]