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The story of Jesus healing the blind man beautifully displays six lessons on what it looks like to heal from sexual abuse. If you have experienced sexual abuse or know someone who has, I pray this story points you to hope and healing.
22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
Here are six lessons we can learn about healing in this story:
1) Healing requires faith, which may include the faith of others.
When I started my journey, a few friends encouraged me to see a Christian Counselor. I believed I was too far gone and messed up to experience anything other than pain, fear, anxiety, and fake smiles.
They knew I was hurting, but they also believed hope was available to me.
Sometimes the faith of our friends can help carry us to the feet of Jesus.
When we are too weary and filled with doubt, they encourage us and point us to hope. They pray for our healing when we lack words to imagine the possibility.
What struck me in this story is when it said, “some people” brought him, and they begged Jesus to touch the man and heal him. They believed on his behalf, and they acted. I remember at some of my lowest points, a friend would always respond to me with this verse:
She helped me see hope when darkness surrounded me.
The next thing that struck me was Jesus took him out of the village and brought him to a new environment.
2) Healing requires boundaries.
Sometimes healing requires us to step away from what we have always known to see something different. Sexual abuse is rooted in dysfunction, lies, and denial. The tentacles of these roots are long and deep. You may have to separate yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally from what you have always known to experience what God has for you.
3) Healing is messy.
Spitting on the man’s eyes? Whew! That is messy. Couldn’t there be a better way? Maybe. But healing is worth it, even when it’s messy.
4) Healing happens in layers. Sometimes, many layers.
When Jesus asked if he could see, and he said yes, I see people, but not very clearly. They look like trees walking around… This part of the story struck me. There were times in my healing journey when I was so happy and amazed with any healing that I took it and ran with it even if it was blurry. Jesus is faithful, and He continues to point me to areas where deeper healing is necessary. I am here for it!
5) He completely restores.
We don’t have to settle for blurry healing when we can have His clear and complete restoration. He can make our sight clear. When we are less fearful, we can thank Him and continue asking Him to fill us with peace instead of fear. When we distrust, we can ask Him to help us to fully trust His plans for us. I still pray this prayer from Mark 9:24 “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
We serve a God of complete restoration. We can believe and pray for His FULL restoration.
6) Don’t go back.
When He brings you out and sets you free, you are free indeed. Walk forward in that freedom.
Be seen. Be healed. Be free!
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