Sometimes you may feel so low, you’re not sure you will make it through. But God brings healing for your pain and hope for your trauma.
One Bleak Day I Hit Rock Bottom
One bleak day, my EQ (Emotional Quotient) was at rock-bottom.
I do not remember how many of my kids were home that day, but I felt so overwhelmed that I retreated to the privacy of my bedroom and began to sob uncontrollably.
Before long, weeping even harder, I went into my bathroom and shut the door. What I really wanted to do was to crawl into a hole in the ground and never come out, but that was impossible.
So, to put as much distance between myself and my painful situation as I could, I went through the only remaining door, which led to my walk-in closet. With three doors between me and the rest of the house, I thought maybe I could hide from not only my family but also from God.
But thanks to my oldest daughter, whose bedroom was on the second floor right above me, I was not allowed to self-destruct for long. I wish everyone could have someone like this tenacious young adult of mine, someone who can get in your face with tough love.
Thinking I had isolated myself completely, I was startled to hear a little knock on the door of the closet. “Dad?” The light switched on as she let herself in. “Dad, you seem to think we are the only family going through tragedy, but we are not. Everybody goes through difficulty at some point in life.”
One moment I was beside myself with hopeless grief, and the next moment I was confronted with reality—by someone who cared enough to seek me out. What’s more, this someone was not afraid to break up my pity party and tell me what to do.
Next I heard, “You think that we are elite and that we’re above this, but we are not. You just have to get over this!”
Healing for Your Pain and Hope for Your Trauma
You can find healing for your pain and hope for your trauma in the love of our Savior.
Our current difficulties tap into unhealed and unresolved traumatic events of the past. Every one of our memories carries with it a stored emotion, and a lot of these emotions are undesirable and damaging if we do not catch them, like marauding foxes, and bring them to Jesus’s feet.
If you believe that Jesus is your Good Shepherd and that he is looking out for you right now, you can expect him to restore your soul, which includes your mind and your emotions.
The best way to cooperate with this is to immerse yourself in his Word and allow it to plant itself deep inside you. You could call it “Word grafting.”
Psalm 23 is a good place to start. As many people over the centuries have discovered, it is a “psalm for living”:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (NKJV)
He restores your soul. He gives rest—even peaceful, refreshing sleep in times of high anxiety.
He helps you obtain good physical nourishment. He enables you to keep on walking, one step in front of the other.
He does it because he is the Good Shepherd. He is not holding you to extraordinary expectations for performance.
Victory is defined differently in different seasons of life. Sometimes, just to keep inching forward through the valley of the shadow of death is an absolute victory. Staying on your feet and following him is a victory. Paths of righteousness are not always particularly smooth.
The Good Shepherd wants to be with you, and he is working overtime to seek you out. If you feel the way I did, you may not know yet whether you want him to find you.
In the early weeks of my time of deep loss and sorrow, I was ministering in Seoul, South Korea. I was so dead inside that I did not know if I ever wanted to preach again in my lifetime. But I was one of the recognized and somewhat well-known speakers, and I was expected to come up with something.
Desperately, I prayed, Oh God, help me! And he did.
He turned my attention to the living Word of God, both the written Word and the living Word that dwells inside me.
The living Word brings resurrection power.
Drawing on the resurrected life of the One who lives inside of me, I got out my notes, picked up my Bible, and made myself walk to that podium in a packed auditorium with my Korean translator. I gave it everything I had, and I preached on something like “Contending for Your Prophetic Promise,” even though I felt I had completely lost mine.
After that message, a significant international leader told me, “James, that was the best job of preaching I have ever heard you do.”
What a miracle! I still felt dead, but I knew God was alive inside of me. God was at work to do his will and his great pleasure in and through me.
It confirmed what I had learned a long time before: that the life I live is not my own but his.
And he will take care of me, restore me, refresh me, and even allow me to bless others—all because of the unbearable suffering.
That restores my soul, my faith, and my hope.
As the Word explains in Lamentations 3:23-24: “’The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’”
My soul will speak (“… says my soul …”), whether out of its despair or out of its hope and the repository of the implanted Word.
That is why the apostle James wrote, “Therefore … receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21NKJV).
Our souls need saving not only from hell but also from the many dark attacks that may come our way in the course of life.
Surely, goodness and mercy will come our way because the Lord is so faithful.
He changes everything for better. And that is healing for your pain and hope for your trauma!
Walking in Hope and Healing!
James W. Goll
This article has been adapted from Chapter 3: “Catching the Little Foxes” in James Goll’s book, Tell Your Heart to Sing Again.
If you want to receive hope and healing for the pain and trauma in your life, then you’ll love James Goll’s NEW book Tell Your Heart to Sing Again! When you purchase the book you will also receive 12 bonus video devotionals by James W. Goll that correspond with each chapter. Order your copy and receive a fresh impartation of hope for your life today!