Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
In Part 1, I opened up this theme of healing of the inner wounds. What is it that goes on sometimes inside ourselves—some of the wounds of the past? Things that had been said to us like I wish you’d never been born. It’s a dreadful statement and people carry it out as a wound around. And I also mentioned Henri Nouwen, a great writer, who said, “There are two extremes to avoid”.
Where do we go from here? First of all, What is a wound? If you have ever had an injury or a deep cut, you know how painful it is and how it hurts to be touched. Oftentimes sorrow and loss are like deep wounds. They can be so painful that it seems no-one or nothing can make the pain go away. Sometimes our heart is so broken that we can’t even express the words and nothing seems to take the pain away.
People who try to encourage us can’t seem to say the right thing. Like a deep wound, a broken heart will not heal overnight. Like some medicines that burn when you apply them to a skin wound, so can a well-meaning friend who says the wrong thing at the wrong time. We search the stores to find an ointment that we can apply to our skin wound that will not burn and then cover it gently with a band-aid It’s the same way with our broken heart. We need the right ointment to bring about healing.
The process of healing
So what is the right ointment for our hearts? How do we begin to heal? How can the hole in our hearts that is gaping open begin to close?
1. Recognise the pain and understand it is OK to hurt. Sometimes we seek to cover the pain by ignoring it or through other means like the use of alcohol or drugs, which will only cause us to get infected and reverse the healing process. Like a deep-skin wound, we must apply the right ointment or a bandaid so we can begin to heal or else it can get infected and become worse. We cannot ignore our pain and think it will go away.
Understand that it is OK to hurt. We try to push the hurt away, but we can’t. The hurt isn’t outside of us—it’s inside. So, in our attempt to push the hurt away, we actually push the hurt deeper inside. We then can spend the rest of our life running from this suppressed hurt. By going through our hurts, we are a part of the human race—millions of people who are going through similar pains. It is during this time that we need a lot of love, encouragement and hope restored. We realise how frail we are and see our great need for God.
It is a time to reflect on the true meaning of life and the greatest opportunity of all to draw close to God. It is an opportunity to learn empathy toward others who are going through the same things. You cannot do all of these things if you try to ignore the pain.
2. Seek the Healer. Seek God as your healer! Just like you tell a doctor your symptoms, tell God how much you were wounded and need his healing touch. He will hear the cries of the broken. God the Father wants to reach down, take your hand, and walk you through your pain. It may take weeks. For many of us it will take years, perhaps even a lifetime to close the wounds of our hearts completely. God will spend as much time and as many years as necessary to help you through it.
He wants to gently apply the daily salve or ointment of his Holy Spirit to your heart until your heart is healed. I know this because he has done it with me. When I am down, he lifts me up in many different ways. He is there for me to cry on his shoulder, so to speak, and then sends his encouraging Spirit to get me back up and going again.
King David said in Psalm 56:8 (NKJV), “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” God was so aware of David that he even collected his tears. In the same way God is involved and aware of our pain, our joys, our failures, our accomplishments. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” wrote David (Psalm 34:18 – NIV). Ask and receive God’s love and encouragement, because he is very near to you. God can work with a heart that has a hole in it, because the need is so great for it to be filled.
Ask God to use you to encourage others through their pain. By your own pain you will be able to understand and help in a far greater way. Christ our Saviour was in all points tested and understands all that you go through. He reached out to us by giving his life so that we would be healed.
3. Understand healing takes time.
It takes time to heal. For as Psalm 126:5 (NKJV) promises, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
God will heal all broken hearts. We will no longer feel sad for what we lacked in this physical life because God will fill our hearts and make us complete.