Probably…at this very moment you could point out a scar, large or small, neat, or jagged, you received when you scraped your knee, burned your arm, or got stitches in your head.
Maybe there’s no scar to talk about, but the arm you broke several years ago, still isn’t quite straight, or the ankle you twisted when you were skating or running for third base still aches from time to time.
You might have a thoroughly engaging story about the time your street was being resurfaced and you came flying home on your bike and skidded in the fresh gravel and flipped over your handlebars and thudded on the street, scraping your face from forehead to chin, and became the subject of conversation and admiration throughout your neighborhood—even the boys thought you were tough to have survived such a disaster.
I might know someone that happened to.
Wounds…scrapes, bleeding, bruises, scars, are the stuff childhood is made of. “I am stuck on Band-aids, ‘cause Band-aid’s stuck on me.”
Wounds…scrapes with family, bleeding from the workplace, bruises from flawed leadership, scars from mistreatment of every description, are the stuff life is made of.
Zechariah 13: 6. …I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Wounds of this sort, left untended, can cause infection with far-reaching and long-lasting effects.
We are speaking now, of course, of assaults to the human spirit.
The steps for treating physical wounds offer good advice for treating these unseen injuries.
Stop the bleeding: Using a clean cloth or bandage, gently apply pressure to the wound to promote blood clotting.
Depending on the depth of the wound, bleeding can be life-threatening. The key word in the instructions is pressure.
Turn to the Great Physician.
Exodus 15: 26. I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Often, people’s first reaction to a traumatic injury or loss is to cast away their belief as ineffective—it didn’t “pay off”—and they’re “done with faith.”
That is the very time to turn to and stay in the Word. But not hit or miss. Apply “pressure.” Read it daily, finding a promise that fits your need and clinging to it.
During my darkest hours, I claimed Isaiah 54, often reading it aloud to calm my nerves, steel my resolve, and quiet my panic. To this day, this chapter is precious to me.
Jeremiah 15:16. Thy words were found and I did eat them, and thy word was the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.
Wash and bandage the wound: Use clean water and wash away debris or bacteria, dress the wound. Closing clean wounds helps promote faster healing.
Fresh wounds are going to hurt a long time. That cannot be stopped or helped. They will keep you awake at night, occupy your thoughts, sometimes make it impossible for you to eat or sleep or function in ordinary, necessary ways.
If you can’t clean and bandage your wound yourself, find help.
Talk to a trusted friend, who is wiser than you, a friend, who has, perhaps, walked the same road you are walking now, been injured as you have.
The wound won’t heal overnight, but with time, “pressure” from the Word, “bandaging” resulting from the comfort and advice from your friend, the wound can begin to heal, hurt less.
“What we feel now, we will not always feel.” Philip Yancey. Disappointment with God
John 15:3. Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you.
Let the wound heal: do not remove the protective scab, which will itch, but do not scratch it.
How many times, when your child was recovering from a scraped knee, for instance, did you find him “picking at” the scab…undoing the healing that was trying to take place. The bleeding started again and sent you scrambling for another bandage.
In the same way, when we are wounded, we often “revisit” the injury, mulling it over, repeating the offense, reliving the painful words that were said, replaying the incident.
Discipline yourself not to open the wound again. Healing cannot take place if you continually examine and “pick at” the wound. Letting it heal will keep you free from infection, which can spread, harming not only you, but also the people in your life.
Wounds are inevitable. If we live, we bleed from time to time.
But wounds and scars need not define us.
Psalm 147: 3. He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds.
None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus our Lord. All his patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou wilt but rest thyself in Him. Charles Spurgeon