Healing the godly way
“He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5
Last week somehow my back and hip became out of alignment. I had hip surgery in 2009. And although I still have some residual issues, about once or twice a year this out of alignment occurs and when it does it’s excruciating. My muscles are knotted all in my lower back, hip, and extremities; I can’t walk upright; my body is twisted and if you look at my legs stretched out you can see one is longer than the other – not aligned. And when the pain happens, it’s like the returning of an old friend. A friend I use to hang with daily. The only problem is this is an unwanted, but familiar friend. The only time I don’t feel the pain is when I am perfectly still and not moving. And although it’s tempting to not move and stay in one place, I know that I can’t. I have things to do and not moving addressees the symptom, but it doesn’t deal with the real root problem of my pain.
Yet how many of us approach life that way? How many of us instead of moving beyond and working through a painful situation, we choose to not move and stay stuck? Instead of addressing anger, bitterness, and betrayal, we allow wounds to fester and simply shut down in our interpersonal relationships. Because if we are honest with ourselves we are used to some people hurting or disappointing us. When it happens, we are so familiar with the hurt and disappointment; we wrap ourselves back in the coat of familiarity.
But that is not how Christ would have us to live. More than anyone, Christ was familiar with the pain, disappointment, and betrayal of others close to Him. Judas betrayed him for money; Peter one of his closest friends denied knowing Him; and the world He came to save rejected Him. Yet instead of Christ abandoning those who hurt Him and instead of Him walking away from the Cross, He willing embraced both. Christ prayed for those who stood against Him and still showed love. He didn’t allow those hurts and betrayals to stop Him from loving. He spoke plainly and truthfully about the situation (telling Peter what would happen, addressing those who were preparing to crucify Him), but He didn’t stop loving them and opening Himself up to others who sought Him.
We could all use this as an example. When situations arise in life that hurt us so badly, be it from people or circumstances, we must not draw into ourselves and stop living. Instead we must speak plainly about the hurt, the anger, and bitterness instead of allowing it to fester within us. We must also consciously decide to love and forgive that person, even if from afar.
My hip and back are slowly healing. I have had to start physical therapy again in order to correct the problem. But if I would have ignored it or taken medicine to just mask the pain, eventually my muscles would have atrophied in their twisted shape. Instead, I sought help from trained professionals to manually work out the issues, asked my circle of prayer warriors to pray for me, and I prayed and laid hands on myself before the throne of God. If you are overwhelmed by a painful situation from circumstance or a relationship, remember it’s ok to seek professional help, to ask others to pray for you, and for you to go before the throne of God and lay before Him. And most of all, remember the example set before you in Christ Jesus.