Depression, Grace, Healing, Prayer, Words of Endurance
People Help People
The Body of Christ is a big part of the delivery system
of healing and growth that God has in store for His people.
(HOW PEOPLE GROW BY DRS. HENRY CLOUD AND JOHN TOWNSEND)
When he was a teenager, Henry Cloud dreamed of becoming a professional golfer and he was well on his way to fulfilling that dream. A successful amateur, he was recruited to play NCAA golf in college. But the dream began to fade when he developed severe tendon trouble in his left arm. Doctors couldn’t figure out the cause or how to treat it. Henry’s game suffered and after two years of hampered play, he quit. The dream was over.
One afternoon, alone in his room, Henry tried to figure out what to do next. The enormity of his loss became unbearable. He explains,
“I looked at various interests and majors only to arrive at a deep emptiness and sense of darkness regarding the future. I was at the end of myself. Thoughts about all aspects of life that were not working went through my head like a whirlwind. What will I do? How will I find my way in my career and in my relationships? How can I change into a person who is not so depressed and unable to figure all this out?”
Although the door to professional golf was shut God had other plans for Henry. Slowly Henry’s perspective on what his life would be began to change. He committed his life and his uncertain future to God. He joined a Bible study that helped anchor him spiritually. Yet he still struggled with depression. One day he confided to a Christian friend,
“I asked God to help me but I don’t feel any better. I thought that if you prayed God would make you feel better.”
Because he still felt depressed Henry concluded that God wasn’t doing much in his life but that shattered perspective would change too. Henry’s friend introduced him to Bill and his wife, Julie. Bill was a wonderful Bible teacher who helped Henry discover his love of the Bible and theology. Through conversations with Bill and Julie, Henry discovered that the emptiness he was feeling “was not emptiness at all but sadness and hurt about the loss of my dream to play professional golf.”
As Henry worked through the counseling material Julie gave him and began applying what he was learning, the burden began to lift from his shoulders. Before long, he knew God was calling him to go into Christian counseling.
“Sometime later,” Henry continues, “I realized my depression and feeling of emptiness were gone! I actually felt good about life and about me.” But
Henry was also disappointed and disillusioned. “God had changed my life. My life had taken a 180-degree turn. But God had not healed me when I sought healing. He had not supernaturally ‘zapped’ me.”
As he talked to people about his disappointment, Henry heard the same thing over and over, “God uses people, too.” Henry “hated” hearing that phrase. I wanted God to touch my depression instantaneously and help me. Instead, he used people.”
Henry’s difficulty was that he had always considered God’s supernatural intervention to be true spiritual healing – Plan ‘A.’ He thought that when God used people to heal it was the ‘inferior’, although effective, Plan ‘B.’
“I accepted that I was one of those people who got Plan ‘B.’ So there I was, grateful and somewhat disappointed at my grade ‘B’ healing. It was good but it felt more like sitting in the bleachers than in the box seats.”
Then Henry read a Scripture passage that changed his perspective on how God had been working in his life:
From him the whole body,
joined and held together
by every supporting ligament,
grows and builds itself up in love,
as each part does its work.
EPHESIANS 4:16 (NIV)
Henry couldn’t believe it so he read it again. Plan ‘B’ wasn’t second rate after all! People helping people were in fact God’s Plan ‘A’!
While Henry was waiting for God to share his grace through supernatural ‘zapping’, God was giving it to him through His people.
“I was waiting for Him to speak to me directly; He was speaking to me through his people. I was waiting for him to give me direction in life; he was the strength behind the direction people were giving me. I was waiting for him to heal my depression; He sent special people to comfort me.”
Henry’s perspective on life and how God would work in his life had been completely transformed. He no longer felt as if he had gotten Plan ‘B’ – as if he had received a lesser healing.
“I had received God himself and the healing he had always planned to give through his people.”
We are so thankful that God used Henry Cloud and John Townsend to bring healing to the both of us through their writings and counseling sessions. God restored our shattered perspectives through these two men of God who through their own God gifting brought us to a healing place and there we saw the power of God.
God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere;
but they all originate in God’s Spirit.
God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere;
but they all originate in God’s Spirit.
God’s various expressions of power
are in action everywhere;
but God himself is behind it all.
Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:
Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-7 (THE MESSAGE)
On the Journey with You,
Dave and Jan Dravecky