Just about everyone has been there. Where did that come from? Anger. Rage. Words … and maybe actions beyond anything chosen. A flash point.
When we “lose it,” where does it come from? Why do we have such elevated responses at times? In my book, Dead Dogs on the Highway, I share about the impact of spiritual clutter. Our spiritual part is eternal. It operates outside of time. While wounds fade in our memories, they don’t fade at the spiritual level.
Not only that, much of what happens at a spiritual level remains subconscious. It is there as a driving force in our response, but we can’t see it and don’t think about it. I recently worked with a woman who had lost her teenage son to foster care when the conflict between the two became so volatile that it was no longer safe for them to be together. The flash point had become dangerous and both knew it was time for a separation.
Fast forward twelve years. She ran into someone who knew her son. Within a few days, something was boiling on the inside. The turmoil was at a fevered pitch and she had no idea why. We prayed for her and walked her through a mighty “deliverance” as she released her son and the pain of that time to God.
Yet, as the book title indicates, there were Dead Dogs on the Highway. Plural. The time of prayer brought an amazing connection with God, but one time of prayer was not enough to clear the highway. Round two. A second incident triggered more wounds—a sense in her of failure as a mother and as a daughter. A person uttered some negative comments that were similar to things said to her during her growing up years. For most people, if they have elevated to a flash point, there is a whole pile of stuff that needs to move to get to complete freedom. That may not happen in a day or even a week.
Most wounds actually come out of what we care about. For some, that is being successful. For others, that might be quality care giving. Others are problem solvers or helpers. When others are critical of us in a core area, it is painful. Thus the pain piles up from childhood, to the teen years, to parenting, and beyond. Most of our pain gets lumped in a pile in mostly the same area—the place we care about deeply. A pile of dead dogs on the highway of our spiritual man.
When that pile gets poked, there is a flash point. Even a small comment can bring a great explosion because it is a big pile and it is very, very painful. A little touch generates a great deal of pain. Of course, the response seems to be unreasonable.
It is unreasonable for the facts of the moment, but not for the truth of the bigger picture. There is a pile of dead dogs. Once that invisible pile is seen, the response does not seem to be nearly so unreasonable.
Whenever there is a flash point, there is some kind of buried pain that is the driver of the explosion. It is not a question of if it is there, but simply a question of how to find it and how to bring healing. The process of healing is simply taking the wound and getting it transferred to God and then receiving what is needed from God to fill in the hole where the pain was.
That is easier said than done. Most of the time, it takes a “season” of prayer to fully overcome. Some seasons are short; some are long. Some people can surrender more quickly. Some much more slowly. Some can “power connect” and some need to marinate in the presence of God to get better. Some can respond to a single incident and hand off many things. Some must be triggered over and over again and continue to hand off one dead dog at a time.
The most important thing is faith in healing. If we create an expectation that one prayer will totally overcome all issues, we often set people up for failure. If we dwell on the fact that the will of God is our freedom (Gal. 5:1), we keep pressing on until the work is done so that we truly are free. Inner healing is not about how long it takes. It is about whether or not we get there. God wants to give us total victory!
That victory only comes with a total transfer, a total surrender to God. It takes time for this transfer and after the hand off of the pain, it takes time for God to soak us in His love. Having people around us who help with that soaking-in-love process is also a great benefit!
The will of God is for our flash points to be transformed to freedom points and then to ministry. When we overcome, where we overcome, we have a special ability to reach out to others—to give to them what we have received from God. Have you been triggered lately? Can you visualize that pain point turned into a place of ministry? It can happen.
The flash points are a light to point us in the direction of healing first, then ministry to others. God does not mean for you to be destroyed by your pain points, but to have those areas become a release of His power into others.
You already have the passion in those areas. Redeem the fire and become a blessing!