Today I am reminding myself what it means to me to be a counselor. It's not just the honest interaction between myself and others, it's not that I'm 'helping people' (although I do value that). Mostly I think it is that I am following God's direction in my life. He gave me the skills I need to counsel those He puts in my life and I must trust Him to lead me where He wants me to go. In this process, I am always learning, and so are those I counsel. This is a beautiful relationship and I’m so blessed for each and every one of you who are a part of this.
But for today, I want to focus on counseling in general. As many of you already know, the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have a need that is not being met and desire a change that. As Henry Cloud puts it, “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”
God has made us with a variety of needs including spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual and He is ready and able to supply these needs. When making important decisions, He provides scripture, guidance from the Holy Spirit and wisdom from people in our lives who provide godly examples and advice. But we must seek it out.
What amount of pain will it take for you to stop procrastinating and make the change? Is Fear in the way? You have the power to do it. So why are you not doing it? Fear is a lack of trust and faith in God. But why would we doubt Him, our loving Creator? If you are suffering, godly counseling is often healing and should not bring shame or embarrassment. Godly counseling reminds us all to rely on God as the main source of healing, integration, balance, wholeness, well-being, safety and approval.
In John 5:1-9 it says, “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water, then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.”
“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?'”
“The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.”
This man was in the company of others who knew of his ailments, yet they apparently did not offer help him to the pool. I think it’s so interesting that Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” I cannot imagine there is any doubt that he wanted to be well, but this man had to desire to change, admit the desire and willingness to do what was necessary to change, and trust God to help him make that change. I always wonder what he did with the rest of his life? And there are so many things to talk about in this passage, but I will save those for another post.
So while I am facing many changes in my life right now, I am reminded to completely trust in God. For me that means:
I am not afraid because I trust and believe He will provide my needs
I will keep my focus on Him and what He wants me to do
I will follow His lead and not get ahead of Him or lag behind
If I feel fear creeping up, I will immediately identify it and turn it over to God
If I don’t receive what I am expecting, then I need to ask God to show me another direction. Maybe this door has been closed so that another can open.
But mostly, I need to trust the changes in my life to be from God and embrace them.
Do you need to make changes in your life?
Is your life changing and you don't want it to?
Remember to trust in God and turn to those in your life who are equipped and ready to help you during this time of transition to a better place.