A.W. Tozer, being born again, Carl Gustav Jung, darkness, following Jesus, John of the Cross, light, psychology, spiritual power, the cross, the dark night of the senses, the dark night of the soul, the dark night of the spirit, the narrow way, the strait gate
Now this is a silly question, Susanne! Through the whole Bible we find witnesses who were healed by God, especially in the New Testament. “Yes… but today?” Having been tortured by many sicknesses all my life, my faith in being healed by God is not the strongest, as I need to honestly admit. However, I have had a few healing experiences during the last year which caused my mustard seed faith to increase a bit. 😉
Apropos Bible, I was just thinking of the situation where Jesus healed a certain woman who had been sick for a very long time. Let’s take a closer look at that special event.
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”
And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”
Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. (Lk 13:10-17 ESV)
Hmm… Is Jesus Christ really the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13:8)? Is He? It is written he is, but how many of us have experienced the truth of what was written such a long time ago? I thought I could share with you a challenging devotional by A.W. Tozer in which he reminds us of who our great physician really is.
The Great Physician
If you are a discouraged and defeated Christian believer, you may have accepted the rationalization that your condition is “normal for all Christians.” You may now be content with the position that the progressive, victorious Christian life may be suitable for a few Christian but not for you! You have been to Bible conferences; you have been to the altar, but the blessings are for someone else. That attitude on the part of Christian believers is neither modesty nor meekness; it is a chronic discouragement, resulting from unbelief. It is rather like those who have been sick for so long that they no longer believe they can get well. Jesus is still saying, as He said to the man lying by the gate at the Jerusalem pool, “Do you want to be made whole?” Jesus made him whole because of his desire! His need was great, but he had never lapsed into that state of chronic discouragement.
Are we too discouraged, dear brothers and sisters? Or do we believe that God can heal some sicknesses, but not necessarily ALL of them, in particular not ours or these of those who we love?
Well, during those years when I tried to find out why I had suddenly suffered from bipolar disease in 2000 (with longer interruptions until 2008), I read a lot of psychological literature. What intrigued me immensely was the way Carl Gustav Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, described the way we as human beings should progress until we reach the goal of being “whole”. I would call this wholeness when a man or woman both know how to wisely use their left brain (reason and logic), but also have an open heart for everyone (referred to as right brain), even for themselves. 😉 Jung called this path individuation. Although Jung, in my humble opinion, had not yet found the perfect “means” to achieve that goal finally (which is Christ in us and we in Him), yet he, with much apropos, explained exactly the way God dealt with me when HE led me through my two dark nights of the soul (i.e., The Dark Night of the Senses and The Dark Night of the Spirit). The Bible, by the way, calls these “taking up our cross” (Mt 8:34, for example) or even more precisely, “the strait gate” (the first night according to John of the Cross) and “the narrow way that leads to life” (the second night) – see Matthew 7:14 KJV. I would like to add that taking up the cross and following Jesus in this means dying to our old self completely so that a new creation comes forth that was born from above through His resurrection power.
Furthermore, what Jung found out, too, was that the majority of crises people had to struggle with had to do with a lack of personal faith and trust. When God makes us eventually completely one with Himself, I believe, we will have reached the full spiritual and mental human potential God has had in store for us. Maybe, the body profits from the healing of our souls during this process too since as the saying goes, “Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore”, or in other words, “Pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body” [translation from Latin mine].
Below is an excerpt that describes in a few words what individuation is all about.
According to Jungian psychology, individuation is the process of transforming one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious.
Individuation has a holistic healing effect on the person, both mentally and physically.
Individuation is a process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.
Besides achieving physical and mental health, people who have advanced towards individuation, they tend to become harmonious, mature, responsible, they promote freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and the universe.