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  • David A. Case

The Driver


Linda’s dad left when she was two. Her mom was shot and killed when she was sixteen. To help Linda (not her real name) get better, it would make sense that those two incidents would require a great amount of prayer. But that is not how it works.

We can only be hurt by what we care about. Every person’s pain will come out of who he is—what he cares about at a deep level. That means that everyone’s pain is different. It also means that the pain a person feels will have a consistency through the years. What he feels at two will be similar to what he feels at sixteen, even though the two events are radically different.

Everyone has what I call a driver. Every human being is created with a sense of purpose—something they feel they are created to do. A driver. When a person falls short in that area or is violated in that area, it creates a great level of trauma.

Linda is a “be there for” person. She’s a “mom” to others, a stabilizing force. When her dad left, it rocked her world not just because of the obvious pain, but also because it messed with the “be there for” part of her. When her mom was taken, it shocked any sense of stability life had.

To be effective, healing prayers can’t just deal with the incident but must also deal with the driver. A stability person feels like a failure when things in her world get out of control. She feels inadequate, helpless, and doesn't feel like she measures up--even though she had no control over what happened. When we look at those responses, the temptation is to try to talk her out of feeling that way—to try to reason with her that she cannot possibly feel responsible for what happened to her parents.

Reason doesn’t work. Experience leaves imprints that have been etched by the driver. For a person to get healing, he or she must effectively transfer the real pain that was experienced to the cross, making room for the ministry of the Holy Spirit to come and bring the needed release. None of this is a mental activity.

For Linda, we helped her identify the driver of stability and the resulting response of shock. Anyone going through major trauma is devastated, but to pray over the deep pain often doesn’t get the job done. In Linda’s case, the shock had caused her to put up walls in an attempt to limit future wounding. She felt like a failure because she was not able to be strong. That’s who she was created to be. That was the area of her pain.

For Linda to get better, we had to pray over the shock, the shut down, and the unrealistic expectations that caused her to feel like a failure. One would expect to have to spend a great amount of time mourning the loss of her mother … but her response came out of her driver. It was more about living a life that could not be trusted—the lack of stability.

It is not always easy to see the driver, but once it is clear, there will be a consistency to the pain a person experiences in event after event. For me, I am driven to be “the answer” guy. I always want to be able to figure things out in a way that helps others. It is devastating when I fail in that area. I get down on myself and struggle with self hatred. I will go through just about any kind of sacrifice to avoid that pain.

What is your driver? What is that deep purpose in you where failure is not an option? That is the area of your greatest pain. That is the area that will have to be “stared down” and given to God. The deep question for every one of us is, “If __________, will I still serve God?” What loss, what pain can come between you and God? Until you have given that deep part of you to God, you are vulnerable and the devil knows it and he will come after you.

Ultimately, all healing of wounds comes down to surrendering that area of great pain to God and believing that the ministry of His comfort is enough. When we are able to focus more on what the Holy Spirit is doing than the pain life has dealt us, we are on the path to healing. Our greatest pain comes from feeling like we have failed in our area of purpose—which means that ultimate healing comes when we give that area of purpose to God and then allow Him to work through us in the way He chooses and when He chooses.

Most of us try to force the issue in our area of purpose and then feel the pain of failure when it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because we are not walking in partnership with God. God never intended for us to accomplish our purpose apart from Him. A big part of our purpose is to be one with Him in all that we do!

For Linda, God had to become the place of stability. She had to admit that apart from Him, she is nothing. She had to focus on the peace that He was bringing, and let go of the future that might send more shots her way. She had to give up on being the stability for her family—unless or until it is God’s timing for her to be that in partnership with Christ. It is hard to let go of deep instinctive purpose, but that is the place of healing from the deepest wounds.

Is every part of your life fully surrendered today? Are the “hot spots” fading? Are you ok with limiting yourself to where He leads today and not chasing after your purpose in a way that makes you feel good about you? Life is better when your driver is fully surrendered to God!


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