As human beings, we naturally want to avoid pain. If you burn your hand on the kitchen stove, your instinct is to jump back and steer clear of it for relief.
There are things that happen in our lives that cause emotional and psychological hurt. It could be related to our childhood, past relationships, bad relationships with our parents, or abuse of some kind—the list can go on and on. So, rather than bring them to mind, we try to ignore them. But sorry, that doesn’t work. Being out of sight does not mean out of mind. We might have many great treatments for broken bones and tissue, but not so for a broken spirit!
The problem is, when you have been emotionally and mentally wounded, the hurt and harm it causes just doesn’t disappear—as much as we want it to! It’s like a child who thinks there’s a boogeyman in his room and hides under the covers. The fact is, if there were a boogeyman in the room, hiding under the covers doesn’t make the boogeyman leave. This seems funny and common sense, but we do it all the time. We hide the things from our past that have hurt us and expect the wound to vanish. Well, It doesn’t. As a matter of fact, it does the opposite.
Everyone Carries a Shadow
You won’t see any skin abrasions or broken bones from inner wounds, but that doesn’t mean they hurt any less! Interestingly, our outer, visible wounds tend to heal much more quickly than our inner, invisible wounds. Why? Because we treat our visible wounds. Most inner wounds are left untreated, because we’re afraid to address the real issues, and they often lie buried for years.
According to the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, everyone carries a shadow. There’s a dark side to all of us, and as long as we continue to hide, repress and isolate this side of us, our darkness will continue to influence ourselves and the way we live our lives. And we will continue to be its victims.
We live in a world where people are ashamed to face and confront themselves—their past, their hurts and their wounds. A world where a lot of people pretend to be happy when they’re not, taking great care of the image they have in the eyes of the world. Painting the outside in bright and shiny colours when the inside is in ruins. We care more about what other people think of us than we do about how we feel.
All these things are indicative of the fact that something buried deep within us is broken. The Bible has the answer in Proverbs 18:14—in fact, it says to me that if our inner part is injured, the whole person will struggle: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”
Our God Is a God of Healing
Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”. Have you ever felt crushed in spirit? The good news of Jesus Christ is that on the cross he not only bore our sins, but he also bore our brokenness and our sorrows. The wounds that Jesus our Saviour bore on the cross have the power to heal our wounds and human brokenness.
It’s impossible for any of us to pass through this life without incurring wounds—we all have them. The question is: What do we do with them? Do we deny they exist? Do we ignore them, hoping they will disappear, only to find them raising their grotesque head later in life? Do we try to stupefy them with some thrill or addiction? Or do we bring them to the only One who can truly help us in our human brokenness: Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race?
O my soul, come, praise the Eternal;
sing a song from a grateful heart;
sing and never forget all the good He has done.
Despite all your many offenses, He forgives and releases you.
More than any doctor, He heals your diseases.
Turn your attentions from yourself to God. No matter what has happened in your life, it is time to recenter your thoughts on God. It is time to focus on God’s will. This requires you to let the mind of God direct your mind; a conscious shifting of your thinking to God’s will. This is a choice you make. You don’t have to ignore the past. But don’t live there. It’s alright to have sadness over your hurts. But remember God can heal the broken spirit.
You need to look to the future and start rebuilding your life. Give your pain to God and move on! Start where you are. Don’t keep reliving the past over and over like a broken record, or should I say a broken compact disk. Something ‘miraculous’ happens when you look to God for your future. When you focus on the future, the wounds of the past fade away.