Healing Collateral Wounds
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3
Just because the battle quiets, the war may not have ended; though the last shot may have been fired, the torn flesh may still ache.
I recently met a young woman who was able, with the courageous intervention of others, to escape an abusive relationship. The man with whom she lived had brutally beaten her, and only by God’s grace did she survive. It is a miracle that she is alive today, and for that miracle of deliverance, she and all who love her are thankful. But wounding happened not just to her physically, but to this woman’s spirit. The assault has long since ended, but the bruises to her well-being are only now beginning to surface. In fact, she is frozen out of moving forward in life by the torments of her past.
Our contemporary culture gets it. PTSD is clinically acknowledged. Perhaps we as believers lag a bit here, though. Theologically, we just want the whole package of healing at once, and don’t even realize the collateral effects of our pre-salvation fallenness. Just because we’ve been saved doesn’t mean we don’t still need some saving. Even Lazarus’ raising did not include a new set of clothes. Someone still needed to do the work of removing his grave suit.
It is significant that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy that the Spirit had anointed Him, not only to free the captives, but to set at liberty those who were bruised. Our lives, too, are far more impacted by our past despite having been delivered from it. He heals the brokenhearted AND binds up their wounds.
This truth is not to inculcate victimhood, but to free us to honest self-evaluation. Not at all unlike my abused friend, my life can continue in its wounding unless I allow the Lord to continue His healing work in my life. I will eternally be grateful that He healed my broken heart, but I’m also so thankful that He bound up my wounds for the ongoing healing work He is doing in my life today. Lord, You found me bleeding and dying on the Jericho road….please pour in the oil and the wine so that Your rescue will bring me to full recovery!