Many of you know I’ve been working in the counselling field for a long time, and I’ve seen and heard some amazing things. In fact, these experiences are part of how I came to believe in God. Here are two examples:
- A man was mortified at his own behaviour after grabbing his daughter and shaking her. When he came to see me, his arms had become completely paralyzed ever since the incident, and no doctor had been able to give any explanation. Previously the same man had yelled at his daughter, and his mouth had swelled up for days as if full of bees—with the result that he could not talk. Again, his doctors were not able to provide an explanation. In counselling he worked at learning how to control his anger, and one night he had a dream in which his daughter told him, “It’s OK Daddy, all things are possible with God.” He had not been a believer in God, but after that dream he began going to church.
- A woman who had been running a brothel for years developed a crippling abdominal illness, which had hospitalized her for months. She was unable to continue running her business and eventually found herself living on income assistance. When she was referred to the group counselling program I was facilitating, she told everyone that while in hospital she would imagine the possibility of dying and having to “meet her maker.” She found herself wracked with shame and feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and great uncertainty about her future. She told us that one day in the hospital, she had a visitor who told her that her “maker” would forgive her. After the visitor left she asked the nursing staff who the visitor had been, but she was told there had been no one to visit her that day. Over the course of the counselling group, this woman made decisions not only to turn her life around but also to seek God.
I was not a believer or a churchgoer myself at the times I had these experiences with clients. But gradually I began to ask myself: What is going on here? Who is driving the bus?
Later in my career I taught graduate courses on counselling, but always with the guilty feeling that none of the theories I was teaching could account for some of the changes I was witnessing in people’s lives. Now, I am quite convinced that much of what happens in therapy happens in partnership with God, whether or not anyone is aware of it.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.