By Lyle RapackiBoth of these articles were very much for my benefit as to anyone whom I sent the same. The words contained in these articles were directed at me prior to my being able to share them with another in the hope and prayer that they might resonate in someone else’s heart, someone else’s mind, the child within. So, I earnestly pray the words from my mouth and the meditation from my heart which accompany my attached epistles explodes into a canopy of wonderment and healing; a rainbow of delightful colors of hope and renewed possibilities, and a smile deep within finds its’ way to your lips, and along with this true smile comes praise and thanksgiving to the One who makes all of this possible – the Lord Himself; Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is There, He is always present with and in us – Ezekiel 48:35).
You may initially wonder why someone who is involved with threat assessments and intelligence would even consider sending such writings. Fair question. A storm is coming to this Land named America. This storm is directly from the Lord of lords and King of kings, the Ancient of Days, who has final authority over ALL the nations of the earth! This storm is called; “The Storm of Justice!” It already has begun but has not even come close to the zenith of power it shall have. Our nation was conceived by God, and our Founders understood this factual principle so very well; our nation has walked sorely far away from the covenant principles we established as a Judeo-Christian Nation, and the growing political and social deterioration which has taken hold of America is a stench before El Roi (God oversees all creation and the affairs of people – Genesis 16:13).
Be healed from the wounds of your past. Be healed from the heartache and severe disappointments you bottled deep inside. Be healed from the gross disappointments you carry daily. The monsters in your life will greatly interfere with your ability to stand and weather the storm already unleashed but still gathering momentum and strength. It is imperative you bring your need for healing emotions before the One who can so heal. There is much work to accomplish, many who will cry-out for intervention, for direction, for help! As in the Days of the First Century Church, many will have the clear opportunity to decide whether or not they shall repent and come unto the Lord – or stay the course, even double down and slog ahead hoping they make it through the unrivaled storm raging all about them, as well as inside them. What about you? How will you weather this Storm of Justice already unleashed and on its’ way? I sincerely pray my two attached commentaries touch your heart, and you turn to the Lord Jehovah-Rophe (the Lord heals).
Dr. Lyle —
Max Lucado and Me – Healing of Emotions
Max Lucado, noted Christian author and pastor provided several wonderful and inspiring insights in a work he penned called “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms – Hope and Encouragement from Psalm 23”. In the folksy and inviting manner of an old time story teller, Max shared a dimension to this favorite and often quoted psalm that promotes an intimacy with our Heavenly Father and our true Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.
My heart desperately was searching for that intimacy, as well as the medicine which only touches wounds of the heart; those deep emotional and personal hurts that, if left unattended, can and will seep poison into every aspect of your life. I struggled in seeking God’s help to lift me out of the deep emotional ravine I fell into and in which I became mired. I sincerely struggled until one night very late, or was it one morning very early, when the calm leading of the Holy Spirit responded to my repetitive vocal cry and the physical tears falling on the pillow.
There was a gentle but firm movement of the Great Counselor inviting me to just be still…to become quiet internally without pretending there was nothing wrong, but to become quiet in spite of the grieving and emotional conflict that was raging within me, and to choose to do something out of my ordinary method of problem solving. So simple and unusual, I had to contemplate the integrity of my Great Counselor’s leading; and yet, my private emotional civil war was reaching a crescendo I could not much longer bare. Plus it was now 3:37am (don’t you just love digital clocks with the red numbers!), and I was growing more tired by each change of those red numbers. So with acquired wisdom, I submitted to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, and combined with my reading in Max Lucado’s book, I accomplished a step toward a healing which I sorely, sorely needed.
I wish I could tell you I was the person in whom the teaching you are about to read first percolated; that I was the one with the insight from which others’ will be blessed and healed; I
wish I could say I first developed the thoughts you are about to read. I wish I could because then maybe Max would phone me
one day and discuss a point or two about his next work – sort of like sharing between two who think alike. But you would be correct to remember my introductory sentence. Max Lucado first penned the following thoughts. I took some literary license to rewrite them for my particular use in this letter (maybe Max will phone me anyway!). But if I still have your attention, allow me to share a thought first.
I do know a couple of things about one’s emotions and wounds of the heart. After twenty-years in private practice counseling fellow travelers along life’s highways, I have seen, first hand, the results of deep emotional trauma; of grief that seems to envelop a person’s entire world view. I have sat with and listened to fellow travelers from every age and social strata repeat similar cords of intense and soul wrenching groans; tears with words attached and words with tears attached.
My interventions were usually pretty good, pretty “right-on”, and patients almost always positively responded. This made my own valley of the shadows that much darker and lonelier as I attempted to rely on my self to make sense of my own need for healing and restoring. I think many of us react in similar manners when confronted with a devastating experience – guys especially and “professional healers” particularly…and I don’t think we are easy to reach even if the One who heals perfectly is standing right before us. We tend to grapple with our own issues utilizing our own tools taken from our personal, private warehouse of armaments – you know “Break the Glass in Case of Emergency” type of tools.
Well…that’s where I was very late one night or very early one morning; all I know is that it was very dark – both outside my window and inside my heart. And I truly felt alone. My mind told me God was watching but that made my heart all the more cry with devastation and disappointment – have you ever been there? I mean so alone you feel like you are naked and in the middle of a crowd but no one even notices you or your nakedness, much less cares; not even to acknowledge your
nakedness! At least you would think someone would say something about THAT! I believe indifference may be a word that can be inserted here. I confess I thought my Heavenly Father was indifferent to my grief over this particular loss. Not because He was pre-occupied with world affairs…I knew better; plus I was in the world He had to at least notice. No, I thought my grief was low in priority and not really earth shattering – except to me. Pile on profound disappointment.
Well, I was wrong. So here comes the Holy Spirit (actually He had been along on this journey with me from the scintilla-of-the-moment Jesus entered my heart in 1975). The Great Counselor whispered my name, and…well let Max Lucado tell what happened. No, Max was not with me in my darkened room that night/morning but remnants of Max’s words taken from his book previously mentioned were with me.
“Shepherds tending sheep use oil to promote healing of wounds. Sheep get hurt – a lot! So the ever watchful shepherd looks after his sheep to prevent such occurrences, but when a wound develops the ever tending shepherd skillfully anoints the sheep with oil to promote healing. He doesn’t want the wound to worsen. He doesn’t want today’s wound to become tomorrow’s infection. Neither does God.”
“Just like sheep, we develop wounds but more often than not our wounds are of the heart that stem from disappointment after disappointment.” We receive deep cuts, not from thorns and rocks, but from life’s betrayals. We face bitter disappointments and injustices; hurts from as many varied sources as there are people; cuts and gashes from malicious words spoken or from someone who refuses to speak to us. We are injured from loss, be it the death of a loved one, or as in the case of my tormented night, the loss of one I loved completely but who decided that level of love could not be returned.
Max Lucado gently teaches us to accomplish a couple of things with our all-abounding disappointments and wounds of the heart. They are simple, and at the same time complicated for us who don’t trust the shepherd or believe the shepherd doesn’t know what’s best or that the shepherd is far busier with other matters concerning the flock to pause and care for “the least among these;” namely, you or me.
Here is what Max taught me to do, and finally, at that late hour, I did:
1. Go to the right person. Go to God, directly.
2. Next step is to assume the right posture. Bow before God; literally. In my case, get out of bed and bow – even in the middle of the night!
3. Ask God to anoint you with His oil. Ask Him to heal your wound(s). Be specific. Be assertive.
4. Stand still. Wait. Seriously. At any hour on any day – even in the middle of the night in all darkness, bow and wait.
5. State what you want, but pray for what is right. This is most humbling. It also is most trusting to give over what you desire to accept what God desires for you.
Like sheep that learn to trust the shepherd, we are on a journey to trusting our Great Shepherd – the Lord, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Allow the Holy Spirit to introduce you to them in a deeper, more intimate manner than you have previously known. As Max Lucado wrote, “sheep don’t understand why the oil works. All they know is that when they come to the shepherd, assume the right posture and wait, something happens.” What happens is good; it is healing; internal peace is restored.
The storm of grave disappointment in my life was stilled. The pain of immeasurable loss from one who had the keys to my heart was soothed by the oil from the Great Shepherd. Even in the midst of absolute darkness very late one night or very early in the morning; the true Shepherd who knows me and was not so busy with worldly affairs to hear my groans and see my tears anointed me with His oil.
Thank you, Max Lucado, for teaching me this truth, and thank you for allowing me liberty with your words (I look forward to your call). Thank you, Lord Jesus, for healing me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for patiently bringing me to a posture of bowing and waiting, for patiently standing by me as I waited for the
Great Shepherd to anoint me with His oil. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for delighting in this sheep who can be stubborn but continues to learn to walk in humility trusting the voice and the hand of the Great Shepherd.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. It began as an exercise of healing in itself – just for me. I then became aware of someone who was in the midst of their own valley of shadows, and I thought Max and I had something to share with them, and you (I bet he will phone me now!).
May God’s love and the friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you this day, and in your tomorrows.
Most sincerely yours in Christ,
LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D.
Consultant at Behavioral Analysis and Threat Assessment
Private-Sector Intelligence Analyst
Phoenix, Arizona –
Max Lucado, Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms – Hope and Encouragement from Psalm 23 (Nashville, Tennessee 37214, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2002)
Lyle’s second article can be found here: Monsters in Our Life
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