We all have had bumps, bruises and wounds. They come in all sizes, don’t they? From the tinniest to the greatest, we usually remember how we acquired them. There have been times when my three and half year old granddaughter would be screaming and crying about her bruise, and believe me, I could not even see it! Bumps, bruises and wounds affect our lives tremendously. Each injury causes pain; some more than others. Sometimes the bruise or wound leaves a scar to remind us of the injury that took place. We all have scars on our bodies somewhere, but there is also a scar that comes from bumps, bruises and
wounds within the heart. Pain is universal. No one escapes pain whether it is bodily, emotional, spiritual or mental. This journey of life accompanies many winding roads to these
Have you experienced the bumps of aloneness, rejection and worthlessness? On the other hand, how about bruises of unkind words, a broken relationship, a wayward child? Wounds bleed, and they often speak of deep excruciating pain. Wounds could be an affair, physical ailment, abandonment, hurt relationships. We all experience them at some time in our lives. If we skip over them and deny them, we live in a fantasy world. The bottom line is that everyone--from the smallest to the oldest knows about bumps, bruises and wounds.
As I watched the Passion of Christ, I reflected on the verses in Isaiah 53:3-5, where it says, “He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness… But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole” [Amplified]. I will never be the same anymore after seeing His bumps, His bruises and His wounds for us depicted in the movie.
I remembered how our little granddaughter began to ride her first tricycle. She still experienced bumps and bruises though relatively safe while riding it. She went over bumps and got bumps. She would upset her tricycle, and scrape her knees. Even she experienced bumps and bruises. Life is never free of injury.
Bumps, bruises and wounds can be small or they can be deep. Jesus’ wounds, bruises and bumps were so bad that He was unrecognizable. I have not experienced that, but I have seen friends in accidents that were unrecognizable. It is unbelievable.
Bumps and bruises get our attention. Sometimes, it takes them to snap us out of our complacency. Wounds, within our bodies and within our hearts are much harder to deal with, but God is faithful. He, alone, can heal our broken hearts our wounded spirits, and heal our injuries. He knows and understands for He was bruised and pained for us. We often cry out in our pain when bruised, but He never opened His mouth. That is unimaginable!
In Isaiah 53:10 it says, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick..” In spite of all that God knew what His Son was to endure, yet is was the will of God to bruise Him. His bruises were for us, His spiritual children. We are the fruit of His bruising pain. I cannot even begin to imagine--for us!
Words and actions attack our very being. Let me tell you about a phrase of words that I heard as a child. These words were embraced and personified throughout my life.
Someone once told me that I was dumb and I would never get it. I was compared with my brother who in every sense of the word was “gifted.” I was the dumb one. How can anyone compete against such words? I was told at an early age that I should have been a boy because I had fullback legs. I was told that my father did not want a girl; he left my mother and me for two weeks after my birth. I never knew love and acceptance until I came to know my Heavenly Father who immediately placed me into His family. However, just that wonderful placement did not erase the bruising within.
One of the hardest, yet simplest, concepts of God, is His unconditional love. It is a concept that I constantly struggle with. How could He love such a “worm” as I? After
all the things, sinful things, I have ever done, He still loves me. Sheila Walsh has written a little book, called Outrageous Love. I love this book because it gives me such hope. Her very first opening sentence in this book says, “Imagine that a movie was made of your life. Nothing is left out. Everything you have ever done, thought or imagined is there for all to see. The indiscretions of youth, the poor choices in relationships, words spoken in anger, the secret habits that are so hard to run from and so shaming in the daylight are exposed for anyone who wants to take a look.” This would be a scary movie. However, the beauty is that Christ has seen our movie and He still loves us! He knows all about us. Sheila Walsh says, “He is crazy about us.” This is a concept that is hard to imagine. He loves me in spite of who I think I am.
How bruised are you? Life is a journey fraught with many pains, but how we look at them in Christ determines our course in our voyage of life. When we experience deep, deep bruising, it is hard to forget. We remember those words and actions that shaped our lives. At some point though, we will come to a crossroad that demands we make a choice. Will we continue to be hurt? Or do we now do the bruising? On the other hand, do we place our bruising into His love and forgiveness?
The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows my “movie.” How outrageous is that? In addition, He still loves me. Awesome God!
“Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them. You know where I go and where I lie down. You know thoroughly everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, you already
know it. You are all around me - in front and in back-and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand”
[Psalms 139:1-6; New Century Bible].
Injuries are prisons to us if we remain there. God offers us freedom when we look into His eyes of outrageous love for us.
LIVING WITH THE WOUNDS
Living with the wounds is painful. Every time I think about those unkind words that were said to me as a child, I feel pain. Every heartache or loss we experience is, in a
sense, living with the wounds.
I have heard many times from pastors and well-meaning Christians, “Get over it. It is in the past now.” I know that deep wounds penetrate and even though they are in the
past, they still make our eyes well with tears for pain is ever with us. Thank God, that as time passes the intensity of that pain lessens as well. Those very words that were said to me as a child have lost their intensity. They no
longer keep me a prisoner. Sheila Walsh in her book, Outrageous Love, p.189, states that someone told her this:
“When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change, then you will be ready to change.” This is so true. We all come to a crossroad where we have to
choose life or wounds.
Remember, Jesus’ wounds. He was scourged, whipped,beaten and crucified for us. He paid with His blood for our sin indictment. There is an old hymn that speaks of what Jesus did for us. It is: Wounded For Me. The words say: “Wounded for Me. Wounded for Me. There on the cross, He was wounded for me.” In John 20:27, He tells doubting Thomas, “Reach out your finger here, and see My hands: and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe!” Jesus had proof - His wounds. He died, was buried and rose
Shelia Walsh wrote this during her hospital stay:
I never knew you lived so close to the floor
But every time I am broken,
Bent over by this weight of grief
I feel your hand on my shoulder
Your tears on my neck
You never tell me to pull myself together
To stem the flow of tears
You simply stay by my side for as long as it takes
So close to the floor.
No matter how wounded we are--He is there, right by our side. He never gives us more than what we can handle. Moreover, He promises us “That He will never leave us nor forsake us”.
Living with wounds can be a benchmark for us. What kind of injury book are we reading? Do we turn back the pages and remember our past wounds? On the other hand, are we actively looking forward to our new beginning of living with our wounds IN Jesus Christ? He is our Hope!