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Healing that Lasts

Isn’t this what we all want whenever we seek some healing for ourselves? Is it even possible to have a healing that is everlasting? Yes, with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27), but our healing is usually momentary or all too often short-lived. So the question remains: “why does our healing only last for a time?” The reason is because we are a broken and fallen people who are continually being wounded and wounding those around us.

Christ imageThere is a saying: “hurting people hurt people”. Since the majority of the world is hurting as a result of original sin and concupiscence, it is understandable why a temporary healing is most often the norm in people’s lives. So how can we maximize our healing moments? How do we seek a healing that lasts beyond our next encounter with another wounded person? There is only one way to do it. Identify Christ, our Savior, as the only means to true and lasting healing.

Christ Jesus brings a peace beyond all understanding (Philippians 4:7). He offers us each membership in the kingdom family of God. We are his brothers and sisters and have an infinite value as a result of this divine kinship. As beloved sons and daughters, we have peace in the knowledge that we are perfectly loved by our Father in heaven. This should offer each one of us great confidence and self-esteem as we approach the world and our broken relationships. By putting no stock in the ability of others to validate and affirm our individual worth, we free ourselves to receive only God’s love and affirmation. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Easier said than done.

usain boltThe world, especially sports and academics, teaches us to seek affirmation from others, but I propose that this is precisely the reason why our healing is temporal. If our self-concepts came from God and God alone, then we would experience the true and lasting healing we seek. We would because nothing could shatter that view of ourselves. Once you have accepted that God infinitely loves you and have acknowledged your identity as his beloved son and daughter, then you remain in that love and identity. Does this mean that others will no longer do or say hurtful things to you? Of course not! But the impact of those words or actions will be zero or next to nothing. They have no power over you.

So the answer for all seekers of lasting healing in their lives is to abandon the endless self-serving pursuit of worldly accolades, affirmations and acknowledgements. Not saying that accomplishments in this life are bad or evil, as Blessed Mother Theresa certainly had her share of such, but there needs to be, to a degree, a wholesale abandonment of what many of us have been previously taught. ‘A’ students aren’t more successful or more accomplished in life than ‘B’ students or even ‘C’ students. Academic achievement doesn’t offer one the ability to achieve greater levels of holiness. Certainly accomplishments on a playing field does not provide one with a better opportunity or ability to grow in virtue than those who are not athletic. Hall of Fame achievements here on earth do not guarantee hall of fame achievement or sainthood in the next life.

st thomas aquinasI could go on and on about the lessons we all have been taught to help us grow in self-worth, but the reality is “all is straw” as St. Thomas Aquinas once referred to his own writings, compared to the revelation of God’s love and value he places on us his sons and daughters. So live in that love and identity today!

In Christ’s healing love,

Mark Houck