I stood in the grocery line and wondered why the cashier was ignoring the customer…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” – John 10:10
In inner healing ministry, we walk with a lot of people who are affected everyday by the spiritual and emotional effects of trauma. From the outside looking in, people in such affliction may not seem to be experiencing life to the full. But what is the fullness of life of which Jesus speaks in John 10:10? One interpretation that I have come to understand is that experiencing the dichotomous realities of human emotions, is to experience life’s fullness; the fullness of the human experience, such as joy and sorrow, elation and deep disappointment, love and indifference, grief and peace.
Can you recall moments when you’ve felt two seemingly contradictory emotions at the same time? Those are full moments indeed! As I reflect on such moments in my life and remember, even re-experience, the emotions, I realize that these are precisely the moments when God has been most present to me. Or, stated more accurately, in these moments, I was more present to God’s presence!
It is in touching my own vulnerability through the unfolding of life’s circumstances, that stripped me of pretense about myself and the false sense of security in my own ability to navigate and “control” what was happening. As I’ve reflected, I can only marvel at this capacity of us humans to be filled to the brim, overflowing with raw emotion, and there in our utter weakness, experience a sense of fullness. I recently read a reflection on suffering and crosses that echoed – and beautifully deepened – my ponderings on “the fullness of life.”
Servant of God Luis Maria Martinez, writing about our Lord’s plans for our individual sanctification, reiterates an important truth that the way to holiness and perfection is the way of the cross. Our Lord, who deeply desires union with each precious Soul, knows the precise circumstances that will become opportunities for a particular soul to most efficaciously grow in virtue, overcome vice and thereby journey on towards sanctification. When we accept this path, we will experience life to the full.
“If He sends you this cross, it is exactly what you need for your sanctification. If we but understood these truths, what could make us lose peace? How calm our lives would be! Come this event or another, it makes no difference – in the depths of the soul, I mean, for not being of stone, I shall not fail to feel. Some events bring joy and others suffering; yes, I shall suffer and weep and I may even complain, but deep in my heart I shall experience peace.”
Suffering, weeping and peace, touched simultaneously. Imagine that. What a power-full moment. The response that organically surfaces within me is awe. Reverence. I bow to the Truth that You alone are God. There is a well within each of us deep enough to hold it all. Lord, lead me there. Guide me down deeper, beyond the place where I lean on my own understanding to navigate life’s circumstances. Lead me where my human comprehension fails; where it becomes impossible to “wrap my mind around” the reality of my emotions. I give you all my “whys” and ask for the grace to accept what is here. May my heart and my spirit receive the fullness of this moment. Amen.
NOTE: I’d like to introduce you to our newest offering called, The CHRIST Program, which is a 6-session video course teaching Christ-centered DBT skills. These therapeutic skills guide us in accepting the difficult circumstances in our lives, recognizing our unhelpful thought patterns and taking thoughts captive, not letting our emotions control us, and more. You can learn more and subscribe to the CHRIST Program here: https://hopesgarden.com/christ-program-subscription
Copyright 2023, De Yarrison