3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. — Psalm 147:3
He Does Understand!
by Craig Wills
Station Hill Campus
June (not her real name) walked into my counseling office looking lost and forlorn. She was crying and sat down quietly, staring at the floor. I introduced myself and asked her how I could help. “God just doesn’t understand,” she said softly.
As we unpacked her story, I discovered June lost her husband two years earlier from a stroke, and about 90 days prior to her visit with me, her son was killed in a car accident. Devastation overwhelmed June, and from what I could tell, grief paralyzed her emotions. Seemingly powerless in her pain and anger, June reeled in depression, believing God abandoned her when she needed Him most.
June’s reaction is really no different than most people who suffer the loss of a loved one. In fact, based on research by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, June was experiencing the five stages of grief known as DABDA or Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. In her book entitled On Death and Dying, published in 1969, Dr. Kubler-Ross stated that moving through these steps is the way we cope with our losses. They provide a framework that helps us recognize and identify a natural human progression. Dealing with death is part of life. Kubler-Ross stated that we don’t always work through these steps in a linear pattern, but we all experience them at one time or another.
But the issue with June was to get her unstuck emotionally. As we talked, she shared her anger toward and doubts about God. At one point, I asked her if we could pray, asking Jesus to help us gain understanding and direction. She agreed, and we bowed our hearts together. I prayed for the feelings June held and the guilt she carried because, as she said multiple times, “Christians shouldn’t be angry with God!”
In our prayer, I thanked God for sending His Son Jesus to become one of us and to die on the cross as punishment for our sins. I spoke with God about the loss and pain He felt when His Son became sin for us and was separated from Him for the first time in eternity. After saying amen, I looked up and June was just staring past me toward the wall. As I waited, she turned to me and said, “He does understand! God does understand the loss we feel when someone we love dies. His only Son died for me!”
A tremendous healing began in June’s heart that day. I believe she left in a better emotional state than when she walked in. I don’t know June’s final outcome because she never returned to my office after that day. But I do know this—God meant what He said in Psalm 147:3. God is in the business of healing those who are crushed and broken. He frees those living in captivity as a result of sin and death. He binds up emotional wounds and comforts us in our deepest sorrows. He brings peace to troubled spirits and restores joy to saddened hearts. He wants to carry us through the emotional blows. No matter what level of grief we experience, Jesus undoubtedly understands (Hebrews 4:14-16) and yearns to heal our broken hearts and remove our despair.
- What are you grieving over today?
- How have you tried to deal with your grief in the past?
- Are you ready to reach out to Jesus to allow Him to bind up and heal your wounds?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.