Healing and helping through Faith.
Throughout history there have been extreme traumatic experiences from war, natural disasters and violence. In the past when describing war related trauma and stress, the terms such as melancholy, war neurosis and shell shock were used. It wasn’t really called PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder until about around the time when Operation Desert Storm veterans came home suffering from “invisible” wounds.
While it’s good that more people are becoming aware of invisible wounds of war, most people don’t realize that the traumatic stress of war has been around since Biblical days.
Moses wrote about war ‘rules’, the possibility of traumatic stress and the effects it could have, And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, what man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people. ~ Deuteronomy 20:8, 9
He wasn’t describing cowards who didn’t want to fight when it they were described as fearful and fainthearted. These were battle hardened men of Israel who had experience in war. Yet as we know today, scars happen and hearts grow weary.
Shakespeare also wrote about it, in his play Henry IV-
Tell me, sweet lord, what is’t that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sit’st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheek,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?
PTSD affects all those who suffer from it differently. There is still too much of a stigma attached and too many still have no idea what it is. Though the very real wounds are not visible- it is a real medical issue. By making more people aware, those who suffer can be helped, and those who see the symptoms present in others, they will know that the people who suffer are not weird, mentally incapable or ‘certifiable’.
One of the good things about people becoming more aware of it is that more organizations are trying to find ways in which to help those who suffer from PTSD. While some are purely experimental and may not help everyone, more is finally being done to try and help. Financially however, it costs more money than our Vets can afford. Even for things such as service dogs, it takes a lot of time, energy and finances to train these dogs. The same goes for other programs whether it’s taking Vets fishing, or to a retreat, and other animal therapies. Drugs are readily available it seems, but it also seems to be many drugs are as bad as suffering from PTSD.
Folks here know how much we all love our Veterans and troops, but we all know we have strong faith in our Heavenly Physician. While some religious organizations are finally reaching out to Vets, there are many different methods of treatment, from yoga, meditation and other new age ideas. It would be a good thing to see more Christians reaching out to our Vets and returning troops to offer a whole healing, not of just the physical reminders of war, but the guilt associated as well as anger issues and fear.
Thankfully some are turning to God in ways that are changing their lives from the inside out, and becoming spiritually healed as well as emotionally. I have seen and read a few articles over the past couple of years and seeing some real results in Christian based help.
Sufferfortribe sent me a video a few days ago, which made me want to revisit this topic, and share this story, and also dig out the few others I’ve watched as well. Maybe these ideas can find their way into more of our churches. Depending on your area, there are a lot of Veterans of all age groups out there who may benefit greatly by Christians reaching out with the Gospel, and also finding Christian Veterans who are willing to mentor and help those who are suffering from PTSD.
The Bible can help those who come from Christian backgrounds, as it did this Australian Veteran who came back from Afghanistan….
Other Veterans have used their grounded faith to help fellow Vets and their families in different ways,
One last story deals with the power of prayer. This is an amazing story.
If you recognize the name Chad Robichaux from the 3rd video, and have ever heard of “I am Second”, here’s a bonus of part of his testimony,
God bless our Troops and Veterans who have given so much for the rest of us. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Have a safe and blessed Warrior Wednesday