August 13, 2010
Wounds Heal All Time - Pam Mytroen
It’s backwards but more true than the original idiom, don't you think? I am thankful that I have not suffered extreme loss, yet for my past hurts, time is merely a thin skin that covers each one.
When I was seven years old I had a cold sore on my lip. It finally began to heal and scab over. But I couldn’t leave it alone. I would pick at it until the fresh warm blood oozed out. Then it would sting all over again and the healing process would resume.
It seems that our afflictions are like that cold sore. All it takes is a memory or a touch and those old wounds start to bleed again. The gash is still there, just under the surface.
If only we could erase the pains we’ve endured and the ugly scars that remind us. Wouldn’t life be so much easier? We’d have no regrets, no flush of shame, and no painful stab at the recall of such memories.
We could wake up each day and carry on as if nothing ever happened, as if we’d never been abused or betrayed.
Ted Dekker has some wise advice that he shares through one of his characters in his novel “Kiss”.
He says, “...your history is no less important to your survival than your ability to breathe. In the end, you can only determine whether to saturate your memories with pain or with perspective.
Forgetting is not an option. I tell you the truth now; Pain was not God’s plan for this life. It is a reality, but it is not part of the plan.
“Pain or perspective. ...That’s all that’s within your control.”
It’s a difficult pill to swallow. Fresh bruises blind us. Time gives us distance from them and some perspective, yet it does not heal.
There are hurts in my life that I still do not understand. Why did God allow me to go through that awful scrape? I ask. I never did feel his presence in certain valleys. Yet that does not change God. He was there.
Someday He will guide me back through those memories with sagacity and I will become a stronger person because of the perspective He gives me.
God does not take away our memories. He does not wipe our minds clean of loss. In fact He asks us to purposely revisit those aches. He says, “Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt,” (Deuteronomy 5:15). He wants us to recall the snap of the whip on our bleeding backs? God doesn't stop there. He finishes, "and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty Hand...”
The Lord wants us to remember the things of the past. He instructs the children of Israel again just before they enter the land of promise: “Remember the days of long ago.”
However, we are to focus not on the darkness, but on our Deliverer. Not on the hurt, but on the Healer.
The words of Jeremiah may resonate as he was honest in his recall of suffering. “I can never forget these awful years; ...Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends...Great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:20-23).
“That’s the point of holding onto memory,” continues Dekker, “delivery, not darkness.”