I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am. I believe at some point in everyone’s life they are WOUNDED, DEEPLY WOUNDED! I am not talking about a scrape, a bruise or scratch. I am talking about a word, action or inaction by someone or something that has caused you DEEP, PULSATING PAIN!
Now that I am on the “BACK 9” of life I know, that I know, that I know this is true!!!!! Just this week, I have talked with at least 5 people who are deeply wounded. Allow me to share a little of their wounds. A friend, or friends, (a couple–they both are my friends) who are experiencing hurt over their separation/divorce but they lack people, especially Christian friends, to reach out to them. A young girl who is in college and whose father abandoned her as a young child. The father remarried and has more kids but she has been kicked to the curb by her father. Her mother lives in bitterness and anger(understandable but not good). The young girl feels so lost and alone. Another young man has chosen Jesus and has been abandoned by his “former friends”. A girl who has invested much of her life in something that has been unfairly taken away and is now dealing with the insensitivity of people who she thought were her friends. A former college friend who found her co-worker hanging in her office when she arrived at work. Life is HARD, VERY HARD and PAINFUL, and if you live long enough, you will be wounded and blindsided by pain that you didn’t see coming. Whether we are innocently wounded, or we directly or indirectly have a hand in our wounds, WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES “GUSHING BLOOD”, WHAT DO WE DO??? AND when we know that others are BLEEDING, WHAT DO WE DO????
I can only speak from personal experience, but I think the one thing God has taught me in the 51 years that I have been living is what to do when I am hurt and what to do when I see other people hurt! Reminding you here, I am always learning and always IMPERFECT in my execution at times.
The following are some things to do if you are personally wounded!
1. Run to God! That sounds very simple but it is the VERY BEST THING TO DO, even if you haven’t talked or prayed in weeks, years, or ever. Run to HIM. You don’t have to have fancy, eloquent prayers just a sincere heart to know HIM, experience HIM, and SPILL YOUR GUTS to HIM. HE WILL SHOW UP! Isaiah 42:3 and Matthew 12:20 both tell us that God heals. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.” And in Isaiah 53:5 we are told, “…by his [Jesus’] wounds we are healed.”
2. Christian counseling is a safe place to go and voice your hurts. There are trained professionals that are can help direct and promote a path of healing. Be willing to be honest and cast off pride (not caring about what others will think), seeking to give the whole correct picture even exposing and admitting your own mistakes. Honesty helps get to the root, thus looking correctly at the origin of the wound. Be willing to take appropriate steps to heal. Fear is never from God so realize fear is from your enemy, Satan, so cast it aside. I find if the pain is severe enough, then you may still feel fear but it won’t stop you from getting relief. It may even be the catalyst for you to seek help.
3. Attend church. There is nothing like being brave enough, even if you go by yourself, to go to church. Go with the attitude of worshiping God and feeling His presence, not necessarily from other people, but just the peace you will receive from a desire to SEEK GOD OUT. I can promise you, if you SEEK GOD OUT, you will FIND HIM. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “you will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” God does not lie.
4. There are books (hundreds of them) that offer help. Go to a Christian bookstore or the Christian section in a bookstore and you will find that the topics are bountiful for whatever your hurt. IF you have the internet, just google Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Joyce Meyer, Perry Noble or a local church. Today there are tons of sermons online that will address your hurts or your needs. Watch them and do what they say.
Now, what to do when someone is hurting!
I’ve said before that I would not relate as well to others who are hurting if I had not experienced pain and hardship myself. In Hebrews 12:7 we are told, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.” The writer goes on to say in verses 11-13, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” We learn how to help others quite often through our own wounds that have been healed by Jesus. So, when someone is hurting:
1. Pray, pray and pray! Prayer is the greatest gift that you can give someone!
2. Talk. Silence when a friend is hurting is usually a TERRIBLE indicator of “not caring”. If you don’t know what to say, just say that you love them. Tell them that you don’t have words but that you hurt because they hurt. Hug them, send them a card, buy them a book that addresses their pain. Doing nothing is the wrong thing. Send a text, email, inbox, something. But DO NOT REMAIN SILENT!
3. Invite them to church. Meet them and welcome them make them feel at home.
4. Be aware everyday that people you come in contact with are wounded. It is either a fresh wound or an old wound. Kindness and a kind word, even to a stranger, can be a “cold drink in a desert”. You could literally be “taking the gun out of their hand” that they have been silently holding to their head.
5. IF you have failed in the past to reach out to someone that is hurting, it is never too late. Never, never, never too late. I missed out on knowing that a friend of mine from my past had lost their mother(it had been 4 years). I wrote a letter. She wrote me back letting me know that she received the letter on the anniversary of her mom’s birthday and I had no idea!!!! It was current and REAL MEDICINE on a wound that was still fresh for her even though it had been 4 years.
6. Trust God that, if you are faithful to have a heart of concern for wounded people, HE will open YOUR EYES to the HURTING AND SHOW YOU HOW TO REACH OUT. You just have to have the DESIRE. Always remember it is God’s place to heal, it is our place to love, support and care.