No one likes to face pain. When I have lived through suffering, my natural instinct is to move on and try to forget it. But God has other plans. What may be my natural instinct is not His. He never wastes my hurt or what I have faced in my life, and He does not want me to just bury it. He wants me to use it for His glory.
How He longs to use the pain I've experienced—the things that I regret—the highs and the lows—the fears and the failures—the very things I want to hide from—to help others! He wants my life open so others might find freedom from their own pain, and I might discover healing for mine.
Being open is a very hard place to be! I want to build a wall to protect myself from my own pain. But building a wall doesn't protect me. It imprisons my heart. It imprisons my spirit. It imprisons healing of not only my own wounds, but those of others. My wall turns my heart into a heart of stone because, in closing myself off, I have shut out the Holy Spirit.
However, when I allow that wall of false protection to tumble down, the Lord turns my pain into victory not only for myself, but for others. “I'll give you a new heart, “the Lord promises, “and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
A heart that yields completely to the Holy Spirit is a heart of tender “spiritual flesh”. It is a heart that is malleable, vulnerable, and not afraid of the pain that often accompanies healing. It is heart that is ready to face the hurt of the past or the present head-on, and allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever is necessary. Willing to deal with whatever must be dealt with, this heart trusts that the Lord who has exposed the pain is capable of healing all that has caused it.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit,” Paul imparts, “and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit will liberate me from any pain, or fear, but I must be willing.