"Walk Through Your Pain #2"
Dr. John Holland
Last week we read Dr. Holland’s story about how he learned to walk through his pain. He said, “We can all learn to walk through our pain if we take the hand of ministry.” Let’s continue receiving his insight.
America is rapidly becoming a nation of victims.
In a book I read the author said, “If Walt Whitman came back, he would not find America singing, but whining.”
Support groups have grown from five hundred thousand to over sixteen million and have not slowed down. The largest percentage of Americans feel life demands more of me than I can give. They express the need for someone to handle life for them therefore they join a support group which all too often just develops a new dialogue for them, but not real deliverance.
I believe support groups are valuable and I urge people to use them.
I also encourage everyone who has the spirit of the victim to focus on the word of God, to receive the hand of ministry from the servants of the Lord. To rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I learned by personal experience that how I defined reality and the expectations created thereby I could rise above that life-changing event.
I am sure this is the reason the story in Acts chapter three of the remarkable healing of a man who was crippled from birth means so much to me.
I can identify with that man and his dependency upon his family.
This is the first recorded act of ministry by the church following the day of Pentecost. God was emphasizing something important that he wanted all generations to remember.
The priority of our heavenly Father and therefore of the church is ministry to those who have been injured and are helpless.
They are the lame, the needy, the dependent, and the helpless of our world. We must bring hope and healing to them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The last words recorded in the gospel of Mark are, “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”
Ministry to the needy is near the heart and hand of our Lord Jesus.
This story is brief, but specific detailing the limitations of a helpless forty-year-old man whose severe limitations left him a crippled begging dependent member of his family. It is told by those who were present and witnessed this amazing account of the suffering of a man and the unspeakable forty years of burden he was to his family.
Just like millions of people in our world today who live with pain, rejection, and limitation. They are the victims who have little hope of a different future.
We can never fully understand the scope of this New Testament miracle without recognizing the life-shattering effects of the helplessness he endured. His fourth years of dependency on others shriveled this human being into a mere shadow of his potential. This man was a victim of an undiagnosed physical problem that left him unable to walk from birth.
We see him through the witness of Peter and John as they recall the events as they unfolded before their wondering eyes.
They were on their way to the temple for prayer as they approached the beggar “expecting to receive something from them” asked for alms with only the hope of sustaining his meager existence.
He had no dream of a miracle of healing or of ever being made whole. He lay where he was placed, pleading with those who passed by, “Alms, Alms, Alms for the hungry.”
The Bible tells us he was carried daily from his home, laid by the Gate Beautiful, and then picked up and carried back at the end of the day.
To feel the full impact, we must look back to the betrothal of a young boy and a young girl by two sets of parents.
This probably took place when they were children because marriages were arranged affairs at that time. Through our mind’s eye, we can experience their wedding with its celebration and its joy as these two Jewish young people became man and wife. Then later the glad announcement that a baby was on the way, which as it turned out, was a beautiful baby boy.
However, as he grew there crept into the heart of his mother a growing fear, something was wrong!
He didn’t move like other children. Oh God, what is wrong with our little one?
Then with a darkened face and a trembling voice, she spoke to her mother, who probably came and examined him and confirmed that there was indeed a serious problem. Possibly they took him to their priest for prayer and perhaps to the doctor for examination, but he remained unable to move his legs.
A long and cruel night settled over that little family as they shouldered this huge disappointment.
As he grew, he became more and more of a burden, and now after forty years of lifting, carrying, feeding, and possibly dressing him, they were worn out by their daily grind.
For this helpless man, he had learned that beggars are lonely because dependency twists more than the body. It affects our attitude, our self-image, our emotions, even our learning process, and being unable to care for oneself shapes and limits our destiny.
Acts chapter three tells of this amazing miracle through the ministry of two servants of the Lord.
The right hand of ministry took hold of his hand and lifted him.
It did not just command him to rise, but a helping hand was necessary to get him up.
Then the victim reached out and took that hand. When he did, something from another realm was released. His feet and ankle bones received strength and he stood for the first time in his life.
Let’s examine this healing and seek to understand how the supernatural is released into the physical, material world.
When the hand of ministry is extended, we must seize it and respond to the ministry it brings. It is here that we can rise from bondage to freedom, from helplessness to strength, and from the victim mentality to the victor reality.
Here, when the hand of ministry is offered, we make the decision to stay a victim or to rise in victory. Will we lie there in the heat and dust or accept the possibility of being healed.
All our past experience shouts, it will never work.
You have tried all your life and have never succeeded, don’t be stupid, stay where you are, safe and secure. At least you will not look like a fool.
It is here that we stop denying the right and the responsibility to be whole. We start believing and receiving the blessing of the Lord.
Next week we will focus on the elements of this transaction.
Dr. John Holland was my friend, and mentor. Larry