Monday, June 12, 2017

KEVIN'S KORNER: "THE PLACE WHERE PAIN HEALS"

Kevin DeVries is a great adventurer, a confident man of God, father and conference speaker. Many may know him as the Lead Explorer who led the expedition up Mt. Arafat as documented in the 2015 Movie "FINDING NOAH". Kevin is also the founder and director of the nationally recognized GRACE EXPLORATIONS ministry.

His articles speaks to so many issues which can transform the heart of any man, woman or young person who is in the distress in our fast moving, loveless society. His articles will be posted here and on an associated website: Business Men In Christ, and all will be linked to the Grace Explorations site, so that the ENTIRE article will be available to digest and process.


The first in these series of articles is "THE PLACE WHERE PAIN HEALS". Read on and then click on the link below to continue into the full presentation. Countless video teachings and more are available at Grace Explorations. The sheer power and content of these teachings will bless you.

THE PLACE WHERE PAIN HEALS

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. – Psalms 46:4 Many wonderful things were revealed to me during a recent, significant season of healing in my life. One of those “wonderful things” is the metaphor of a river and four healing streams found in Genesis 2. My prayer is that you will find the healing that Christ offers to your pain. I invite you to travel alongside me as we continue to explore God’s magnificent healing and grace. –Kevin DeVries

A RIVER AND FOUR HEALING STREAMS

Eden exists. 
It is a true place unknown to any map except the heart. A river runs through it to feed four healing streams. 1 Where these four streams converge and compliment each other, healing happens. We live in an age of trauma that has exiled us from our hearts as our home. Overcome with grief and regret, we’ve hung our unhappy harps on trees2 that grow as gallows along a river of bitter tears that hurts, but never heals. Alongside this river are forgotten fields that remain forever foreign to our original glory and design. We awoke one day and could no longer find our way home to where our hearts truly belong – Eden. Desolate deserts of pain have devoured Eden’s delicate dream. The garden where hearts once laughed and played has become a wounded wasteland. And where wounds linger, lies live. Lies that lead us to cover and wound others and ourselves with the deep shame of self-hatred. Something is terribly wrong with the human heart. Our home (where our heart is) has become a haunted house. An invisible war in the heavens is being waged in a battle for beauty; the human heart; the “priceless pearl” that plunders hell to populate heaven.

Is there a way back to Eden? 
If Eden exists as an echo of eternity experienced on earth, how do we experience the river of Living Water and its four emblematic streams of healing? Can we eat from a Tree of Life growing beside this river that feeds these streams and can its leaves, rustling with the rumor of a King’s return, still heal nations that are numb with the nameless numbers and frightened faces of the living dead? 3 Since time can only tell what eternity means to say, what would it say to our shattered selves? If we silence our shame and remember our original glory, we might hear these words echo from hallowed halls into our hurting hearts:

There is a way back to Eden. 
Healing happens where Living Water flows. Where eternity lives in our hearts, we thirst for living water. Deep down, we long for water to flood and heal every secret chamber where pain lurks and lingers in lands where love and laughter are lost. Dark places where trauma hides, frozen in fear, from the voice that calls us out of the shadows by our true and noble names. Places where pain is ever present despite the passing of time. Healing flows through not one but several streams. In my own experience, I believe exempting one stream tends to compromise the whole. Wholeness is achieved when sin is forgiven AND shame is healed. If we seek the cure from sin through sin management, it only leads to shame mismanagement, and we never heal. We continue to hurt others including ourselves. Hurt people hurt people, as the saying goes. Apart from God’s grace, we can only give away what we have first received. Providentially, pain redeemed as purpose, can drive us into secondary worlds to drown us in dreams of a primary world more real than our own. Northrop Frye said, “The real world is beyond time but can be reached only by a process that goes on in time.” Here are four streams fed by a river that helped my healing process in time as they flow from their ultimate source in eternity: 

1. CHURCH - Ephesians 5:25–27 Of all streams mentioned here, only the church and Christ spring eternal because the church is the immortal Bride of Christ. We are the church - His Immortal Bride. Never confuse Christ with the church. The church is made of imperfect people – you and I. The church is not perfect. Only Christ is perfect. Though the church has wounded many, far more have found healing in her waters. The church is the stream that provides corporate celebration and communion, which our hearts crave. We enter His gates and glory with praise and thanksgiving. We enter Christ wounds into wonder through our pain and trials. The church is a powerful portal to another dimension where wounds are healed with weapons of wonder. The church is a hospital for sick people just like us. If you fail to appreciate the role of the church in your healing process, you deny yourself the fair and tender love only the Bride can give, and you’ll only know the fierce and tough love of the Bridegroom. Just like a patient needs a doctor and a nurse, a child needs a father’s time and a mother’s nature to fully mature. Love is best when it is both both intimate and intense. Though a man or woman reigns and rules in a glorious garden, it is not good for either to be alone. The Church is there to be a place of belief AND belonging for us.

However great the mystic marriage between the church and Christ truly is, it is still not enough to meet all your needs. Where church should be an expression of a sacred romance, our commodity driven culture has turned it into a service station where we get our weekly “faith fix.” If you believe church attendance alone will change you into someone you want to become, you will be disillusioned and join the unsatisfied ranks of the un-churched. There are other streams your wandering heart must seek to escape wounded wastelands and enter a field where a feast awaits your famished soul. Professional counseling is a muddy stream that will humble you before it heals you. Without this stream, we can become emotional dwarves; stunted, immature images of our former shimmering selves masquerading as self-righteous, spiritual giants standing on a heap of human wreckage our own wounds have wrought. We must wade into these murky waters if we ever hope to be cleansed of our pain that has left our unfeeling hearts numb with the modern day leprosy that plagues saint and sinner alike – Shame.

2. COUNSEL – Proverbs 15:22 Often at odds with the church, biblically based, professional therapy is needed as much as godly, pastoral care. Due to the many roles most pastors must play, they are the first responders and primary care providers of your spiritual health. Recovery from trauma is akin to safely detonating a bomb. It requires a special set of skills, nerves of steel and steady hands. Annual check-ups require a family doctor. Heart surgery requires a heart surgeon. More complicated cures require more specialized counseling. Sick bodies need doctors. Hungry sheep need shepherds. Sick souls need soul doctors – Christ-centered counselors.

After years of untreated trauma, my life was simply not working anymore. Church attendance alone was not able to penetrate the inner darkness I was living in. I was beginning to feel more like a wounded animal lurking in the shadows than a human that once sought the Light. I hated myself, and what I had become. My wounds were haunting me. I was a fugitive running from my past leaving a blood trail everywhere I went for the hounds of hell to follow. And like a wounded animal, I was angry, alone and afraid and lashed out anyone that dared rescue me. I was especially leery of counselors. I was too proud to admit I was sick and too sick to admit I was proud. One day I discovered we are only as sick as our secrets so I began to tell all my secrets to a counselor until I was no longer sick. Along the way I discovered godly counselors do not just treat the problem, they help people transform with truth. Christ-centered counselors help us understand a key truth:

You are not a prisoner. You are a patient. 

You are no longer a prisoner punished with pain. You are a patient perfected with pain for a redemptive purpose. The pain you feel is so you can heal. You cannot heal if you cannot feel. The goal is progress; not perfection.....

Article Published by Consent of Kevin DeVries and GRACE EXPLORATIONS
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