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“Heal me, Oh God and I will be healed.  For You I will praise.”  (Jeremiah 17:14)  The cry of a wounded prophet Jeremiah who believed God’s ability to heal his heart…wounded from speaking truth to a people who did not want to receive it and rejected him in his obedience to God.

Have you ever experienced a blow- I mean something that really hurt deeply- and you know it’s going to take a while for you to recover?  I am not talking about a blow that happens within the four ropes of a boxing ring.  What I am talking about are hurtful words, abusive relationships, authorities who overstepped their privileges of leadership, all leaving painful marks on the canvas of our lives. Unfortunately, even some ministries and churches can leave such painful wounds in our hearts.

This is not because God is not good and loving or because churches and ministries are intentionally hypocritical, it is because broken people run and attend these groups (just like me and you) and have some places in their own lives that are not yet fully healed and whole.  That’s to be expected.  There is grace because in God’s economy, we are all invited into the healing process…the process of going from broken, unwhole, and wounded, to healed, whole, and able to love.  His healing opens our hearts to love others with genuine and sacrificial love, because of the matchless love we have received from God.  That is the power of God at work in our lives.  Before we know that, however, we must acknowledge our need for healing.

I am a broken person in recovery.  The good thing about admitting that on the internet, is that I know I am not alone.  The world we live in is full of broken people, broken systems, broken leadership structures, and even broken leaders.  Thank God that He is in the process (through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and His resurrection) of reconciling all that is broken back to Himself.  What that means, is that He is stretching out His hand of HEALING to the world through Jesus.

HEALING.  HEALING.  HEALING.

His healing words, His healing touch, His healing presence, His healing power to transform total brokenness into beautiful wholeness.

“He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.  He counts the number of the stars: He gives names to all of them.  Great is our LORD, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”  Psalm 147:3-5

Sometimes the hardest thing about being “wounded” by friends, systems or churches is that we don’t always fully understand what happened, or why it still hurts us so badly.  This pain and confusion causes us to pull back from relationships, commitments and communities out of fear of being hurt again.  We try to move on in life, but probably still live out of those places of hurt, whether we see it or not.  The hurt is like heavy bags we carry around, but don’t know how to drop them off and walk away free from their weight.

There are a few common reactions to being hurt.  One reaction is to leave the people who hurt you or the church who caused you pain, never to return for fear of being hurt or because we have been so deeply offended.  Another reaction is to be critical or judgemental towards those who hurt you.  Such hurt can create a paradigm in which we view most things in life through a lens of wounding.  Personally, I have often felt tempted to bask in my pain and to tell everyone about the people and groups that have hurt me.  It seems like it makes me feel better to gossip “talk” about it to others.  But not really.  It only feeds my wounds.  Walking away from community and running from relationships leaves me alone in my wounds.  Judging and gossiping about others who remind me of my hurt leaves me calloused in my wounds.

What I need is not to run away and criticize, but to lean into relationships, community, the church, and the people who have caused me pain, in order to break through the pain and receive healing.  What I need is a deeper encounter not with sympathizers or fellow-wounded gossips, but with The Healer Himself.  The One who numbers the stars, and who also cares for me.  The One who is ABUNDANT IN STRENGTH, and whose UNDERSTANDING IS INFINITE, especially when it all seems so overwhelming and confusing to me.  I need to experience first hand the One who has the power to HEAL BROKEN HEARTS.  In encountering our Healer, our hearts will learn to forgive, and release our wounds to His healing hands that were scarred in order that we might live with freedom from our wounds and pain.

Thank you God, that You know – You understand –  You saw – You see.

I trust You to finish Your healing work in my heart.  Heal me and I WILL be healed.  And that in the end, I won’t be held a captive prisoner by these wounds, but they will be transformed by your grace from wounds into weapons used in the fight for other’s freedom who live imprisoned in their hurt.

~ Wrapped in His Affection ~