By Karen Polich
Our lives are not always filled with blue skies and constant sunshine. Life comes with hurts and wounds. We often get knocked down when we least expect it. We suffer scratches, cuts and even punctures. The degree of hurt determines the extent of healing that needs to take place. There is no do-over or reset button to erase the scars from the wounds we suffer. However, with God’s help we can overcome our hurts and our wounds and be all God created us to be.
Pastor Michael M. Cook’s current sermon series, Work in Progress, allows us to explore our hearts, evaluating where we haven’t let God in. (Listen to the podcast here.) Wounded and Hurting is based on the story of the woman at the well. (John 4:1-26)
Our lives can be framed by the biblical principles from a God who loves us beyond our comprehension.
Living on the fringe of her community, the woman at the well did not join the other women at the well. She had a past that was surely talked about. She had made poor choices, failed repeatedly and lived a life of isolation. Perhaps she felt trapped in the circumstances of her life. Love had broken her heart, not once but five times. Her life was filled with wounds. However, her encounter with Jesus took her life, full of hurts, to a place of joy.
Pastor Cook shared two truths about God and our hurts:
- God always sees behind the mask to the reality within. We must remember, without conviction of sin there can be no conversion.
- God often exposes our lifelong pursuit of happiness. The deep longing within us can only be filled by Him.
Jesus knew everything about this woman and still offered her the ultimate gift, living water, in the form of salvation that came from His love and acceptance. She was so overjoyed that she hurried to share the encounter with the very people who shunned her at every corner. She celebrated His knowledge of her baggage and painful life. This encounter with Jesus would lead many more to come to know Christ.
Could it be that Jesus wasn’t exposing her sin, but was naming her wound? – Michael M. Cook
Our wounds shouldn’t disable us from living a full life. Pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t move us forward. What are we to do? Feel stuck? Staying there doesn’t work.
God doesn’t ask us to leave our pain behind, ignoring it while we keep going. He uses our hurts. God can diminish our most excruciating pain and begin the healing process, if we only let Him.
Scars should be worn proudly, as part of who we are. But to wear the scar, we must first deal with the wounds and seek God for healing.
The wounds in our lives, whether a scratch, cut or deep puncture, can make us stronger and equip us for more. When we seek a relationship with God, we begin the reconciliation process. This will bring the return of a real hope and optimism for the future.
Do you have wounds you need to give to God today?