Highlight Longings: God created us for Paradise, but we now live in a desert. So we thirst (John 7:37-39), we suffer (John 16:33), and we groan for home (Romans 8:18-25). Biblical discipleship counselors keep their hearts and ears attuned to the discrepancy in the soul between what people were designed for (Paradise) and what they now experience (suffering). Soul physicians develop and practice a biblical theology of suffering.
- Teach that it’s normal to hurt. Help your spiritual friends grieve, but not as those who have no hope. They grieve and groan, longing for what is not yet, but what will someday be. Touch their longings for what they were originally designed: shalom with God, with others, and within their own souls. They long for a pristine environment, peaceful relationships, and a purposeful existence.
- Enter the casket of unmet longings knowing that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but don’t leave people in the casket. From that view, help people to look up to God and look out to the future. It’s possible to hope because “Sunday’s coming”! The resurrection is promised, and God is working out His grand and glorious plan.
(Robert Kelleman, Soul Physicians, p. 129)