It’s interesting how God seems to bring us opportunities to minister to others in the exact areas we’ve experienced pain and trauma. God builds testimonies in us for the benefit of not only us but for others who have experienced or are experiencing some of the same things.
One night I found myself in front of a man handcuffed and laying on the stretcher inside of my rescue (ambulance). He had been arrested for breaking a window when he found his wife with another man. He had cut his arm and required medical attention.
He was emotional and distraught for good reason. I was ready to just stay out of his way as we drove to the hospital. I could relate to his pain but he seemed ready to explode with rage. But as I sat there the Holy Spirit began to touch my heart and compassion filled me. I asked the Lord to help me find a way into the man’s heart. Then I listened and heard the Lord say, “Tell him that you know what he’s going through.” It takes courage to discuss the areas in which we’ve experienced the most pain with others, especially strangers who are upset and cursing left and right. But I found some courage, looked into his eyes and said, “I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I know how you are feeling.”
I watched the rage leave his eyes and pain take hold. He asked me to explain. I quickly breathed a silent prayer asking God to lead my words and followed the promptings He gave me. I began to share with him some of my own experience walking through betrayal. I shared my own sense of injustice and the damage it did to me. I told him how it very easily could have and almost did destroy me.
I saw the desperate look in his eyes. He needed an answer; a way to survive. I silently asked the Lord to lead me in my response and followed what I heard. I told him that the only way I survived was because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. I told him that Jesus was the only way he would survive as well.
It’s in the pain of trauma that many of us begin to consider things that we wouldn’t otherwise. Despite the anger he was feeling, the words God gave me to share were hitting his soul. His heart was softening. I encouraged him to seek the Lord, as He is the comforter to those that mourn. I shared how Jesus rescued me from despair and transformed me.
As we arrived at the hospital, the man looked at me and told me that he was ready to change. He said he wanted to go to church and asked my partner (a believer) and I for information on local churches. My partner gave him the info for his church.
It’s important that we recognize we aren’t the only ones dealing with what we deal with. If God has built a testimony in you He wants to use it to help others. We must be willing to love others in that way. We must be able to hear His voice and have the courage to respond.