"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?'” (Matthew 16:13 ESV)
There's no greater question to be answered for our clients than that. Who do people say the Son of Man is? Though, oftentimes, it is not the question that's on their minds when they come to counseling. Instead, their minds are usually filled with questions that begin with "why." Why is this happening? Why can’t I stop? Why am I not getting healed? Why can’t I fix this? These questions are important and require empathy and patience in their answering. However, these questions tend to be self-focused, presume self-oriented answers, and often lock our clients in a self-reflecting cul-de-sac.
The common "why" questions our clients wrestle with require a reframing around a much bigger subject—a "Who" that is greater than themselves. Remembering who Jesus is and what He has done produces the opportunity for a different set of questions. Instead of self-oriented "why" questions, we can move into "what" questions. Given Jesus is present, what's He up to in my circumstances? Given Jesus' rule and reign, what does He want me to receive in these challenges? Given Jesus is interceding for me right now, what faith-filled next step can I take?
If we get who Jesus is, the "why" questions become less urgent. As we see and understand Jesus’ character, our felt need to have all the "why" questions answered dissipates. He has not called us to know everything or have all the right answers. He has not burdened us with that type of knowledge. Instead, He has invited us to see who He is and let that be enough—to let it be enough that He has promised to always be with us, provide for us, and to finish the work He has started.
So, may we help our clients see Christ first and foremost in their trials and difficulties. He is with them and intimately cares about their troubles. May we shepherd their hearts to trust the hands of their loving Shepherd while remembering His character is lovingly perfect and unchanging. May we help them take steps of faith knowing Jesus walks beside them through every valley and over every mountain top. He is with them. Why? Because He loves them more than they can possibly imagine.