I’ve been acutely focused on wounds these past few months.
My dad has struggled with diabetes for many years, but recently it’s gotten progressively worse. Recent surgeries have caused both physical pain and emotional hardship.
There are lots of unknowns related to his future. And the uncertainly can take you to dark places.
The New York Times recently reported that from 2016 to 2017, the proportion of adults who described themselves as more anxious than the previous year was 36 percent. In 2017, more than 17 million American adults had at least one major depressive episode, as did three million adolescents ages 12 to 17. Forty million adults now suffer from an anxiety disorder — nearly 20 percent of the adult population.
These are the known cases of depression. The actual numbers must be astronomical.
Wounds have always existed. There are many examples in the Bible:
- The woman caught in adultery (John 8: 1-11)
- Struggles with family, like the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-18)
- Persecution because of following Jesus (2 Corinthians 11: 23-28)
We hurt in many ways. Wounds of regret of past sins. Wounds of illness and sickness. Wounds of broken relationships (perhaps the toughest of all…)
Fortunately, we have a Savior that has borne wounds for us.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. ￼He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. ￼When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. ￼He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 2 Peter 2: 21-24
By His wounds we have been healed.
How do we begin to heal? I suggest three ways:
- Learn from the past. An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:15. We must learn from our mistakes and acknowledge our forgiveness. (“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:45). We must also seek forgiveness from others when necessary.
- Focus on the present. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
- Realize the potential of the future. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life. John 5:24. Finally, remember that suffering always precedes glory, as the Savior said of his own wounding (Luke 24:26).
I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but I do know that there is relief. My prayer focus this week will be for the millions of unknown issues across our world that are creating wounds.
And if I can pray for you specifically and confidentially, please let me know.
God bless you.