For When You’re Wounded
Wounds may heal but they have a tendency to rip right open and bleed red, again. There may be tearing pain or a numbing ache that takes hold deep within and squeezes tight until we feel about to burst. We may grab frantically to anything and everything in our attempt to stop the slow stranglehold of desolation. We may rage against it. We may sit still in silent suffering. We may gravitate from one extreme to the other on our quest to stop what permeates our senses and hangs over our head like a suffocating shroud.
But we must soldier on. Because the thing about wounds, the thing we dislike — immensely — is that yeah, that trite little saying is true: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And though we’re forced to our knees in utter despair, pain, anger or heartache, we are not powerless. You are not powerless.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil …
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. ~ Ephesians 6:10-11; 16
Only God can ‘quench the fiery darts of the wicked’. The alternative? Eat ourselves alive. We are so consumed with our own volition that we will actually take hold of the knife and push it deeper, turn it round and round, and perhaps, if we’re not careful, deliver our own mortal wound.
Others hand us a hard pill to swallow, or a stab in the back, or a punch to the gut, but we still have all the power unknown to man. When we fall to our knees in defeat we must cry out to the Lord — no matter that our faith drips with the sweat and salty tears of our own weakness. We must turn over control of our pain and sorrow, anger and heartache, and be still.
Be still, and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10
Most of the time that’s harder to handle than the wound itself. We want control. It’s in our nature. We want to say how and why and when and what for. We want to control the results. We want to control the events. We want what we want when we want it … even our own wounded-ness. We want to arrange the details and turn the nonsensical into something we can understand. We want answers. We want truth. We want the whole story so we can craft the proper response.
But here’s the thing about being wounded: we will never have control. It’s something that happens in spite of us. We are wounded and we are victims, and the only one who can give us the understanding we seek requires that first we surrender self. And even though we’re prostrate and bleeding, we tend to view surrender as the ultimate painful piercing.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10
Let go and let God handle the situation … but it can be difficult to take the first step. We may have to grab hold of a leg and push it forward — one feeble, begrudging step at a time. We all have limits. Unless we’re completely dense and terminally stubborn there will finally be a point when we say, “Ok, I’m tired. I’m hurt. I’m overcome. Just take it, please. Have mercy on me for I am utterly defeated and powerless. Fight my battles for me, God.”
Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged for there is a power far greater on our side. ~ 2 Chronicles 32:7
We get it. We’re wounded and it may indeed, hurt like hell. But it’s not about us. We were on the other end of someone’s stick. Someone else came rushing headlong into us flinging insult, injury or worse. They slammed into you or me or her or him and it may have been a devastating blow.
But that wound? It happened to us. It’s not about us. That is to say, we control our own actions but we can’t control anyone else’s. When we know that, understand that, it’s so much easier to fall to our knees and give up the ghost of our futile attempts at damage control. We may have been wounded in someone else’s battle, but we can still win the war with all power and strength and most importantly, peace.
He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavory. And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down. For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. ~ II Samuel 22
There is only one way to full and complete recovery from our wounds. And though it may seem like a gigantic leap over a steep cliff it is merely a reach for an ever-present hand that will hold us and lead us in the way we should go.