The Three ‘D’s of Healing

When I counsel people struggling with pain or loss, they often speak of how they feel there is no future. The loss of a loved one, the failure of a relationship, a physical/ emotional attack or a drastic health change often causes so much pain, the future seems hopeless. These individuals lose the ability to see a healthy way to heal and they tend to give up hope for growth or a future.

When this happens, I ask them three important questions: “What is your destination?,” “What is your destiny?,” and “Where is your devotion?” Though destination, destiny and devotion are all different concepts, they are all part of an important process that I refer to as ‘The Three Ds of Healing.’

No matter how long someone has been a Christian, hopelessness and helplessness can occur at the most unexpected times. Sometimes we can get so focused on praying for difficult times to pass, that we forget God’s promises. We forget that God guarantees us a destination, a destiny and a reason for devotion.

God wants us to understand the importance of the ‘The Three Ds of Healing’ in the context of his Word. John 5:24 reminds us of our destination. “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Understanding the promise of this verse helps us to realize that pain, depression, anxiety, fear and doubt are all temporary distractions from our eternal destination.

Knowing our destination leads us to the question of how we find purpose now in a world of pain and suffering. We are reminded of the truth of our destiny from Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11). The same promise God extended to his people in exile, gives us hope as his children. If we know that God promises to fulfill plans through us and give us a future, then no grief, no pain, no loss, no fear and no doubt will be able to prevent that from happening. All that is required of us is to trust that God keeps his promises.

If we know our destination and we believe that we have a destiny, but there is no devotion, then our hope is broken. Several of my clients will tell me “my hope is gone, I cannot move forward.” This happens because we as human beings tend to place our hope in fallible people or ideals. Joshua reminds us of God’s dependability in Joshua 23:14. “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” If not one of God’s promises has ever failed, then He is the strongest power we can devote ourselves to. Our healing and restoration come from seeking God and His promises. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33).

Andrew McCleary is chair of public awareness and community-based organization resource of the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force. Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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