When Wounds Will Not Heal

It’s been a wound that just will not heal.

Six months ago my boy broke his hand/wrist playing baseball. He’s had surgeries, therapy, and exercises to restore him back to health, all to no avail. Despite the best of care we learned last week that his hand/wrist remains broken and yet another, more radical surgery is required. On Monday he underwent an operation that involved removing a piece of his hipbone as a graft for his hand and wrist.

You would think with the invasive nature of four pins and a graft in bones as sensitive as those in the hand/wrist that the boy would be experiencing untold pain in said limb. Nope. It’s the hip that is keeping him awake, that has him producing fountains of tears and pleas for help. The part of him that was removed for its strength and health is now the area where he is experiencing his most profound weakness.

While I hate to see my boy suffering, the Lord has been revealing some insight about wounds that refuse to heal.

The thing about that broken hand is that the longer he went around with it broken, the less troublesome it was to him. He experienced only annoying pain with it. He had learned to compensate for certain activities with the use of his other hand. For the most part, it was a minor inconvenience, one that hardly seemed worth it to give more attention. It wasn’t that big of a deal; just let it be. Brokenness isn’t that bad; sweep weakness under the rug, leverage strength.

The surgeon had a much different opinion. He knows the nature of unhealed bones; they don’t age well. Choosing to compensate instead of correcting are the lazy or cowardly man’s way of prioritizing easy efforts over life changing results. In the end, compensation for broken places just leads to destructive habits that distance us from true wholeness.

As with bones, it is true in life. From the time we’re young we are taught to hide the things that plague us. Find something to be good at, grow strong, and use your strength to hide the weakness. When wounds don’t heal, just divert, compensate. Avoid it. Revise it. But heaven forbid, don’t believe it can be healed or changed.

When I think about my life I can see how the Great Surgeon has prepared me for the road ahead, and just like with my son’s hip, he has made cuts through places of strength to help bring aid to weakness. Weaknesses that would now be more than inconveniences; they would be detrimental, possibly deadly, to my spiritual health. 

I don’t think I saw His mercy at the time. All I felt was the pain of the cut. And if I’m being honest, I’ve had moments of believing God is cruel to take the one (or two or new) place of strength. Can’t I hold onto anything?

I didn’t see how the cut out of strengths would bring healing to wounds for which I’d given up on wholeness. I couldn’t see how He was filling in the wound of weakness with strength. I could only fill the pain.

But isn’t pain the best reminder we have that we need healing? When we compensate for wounds we focus on our self—our ability, our resilience, our ingenuity. We’re good at numbing pain; pretending it isn’t there. When we attend to pain we focus on where we need help and a Helper.

And the thing I’m learning about the way God helps us is that He doesn’t despise our weakness. He loves us; loves us so much that He insists we must be healed properly, completely, even in places where we have long since forgotten we were broken.

Has God ever made a cut in a place of strength? Maybe you knew there was brokenness, but you covered it over by being a great wife, or super mom, or ministry extraordinaire. Or maybe you felt that weakness wasn’t so bad and so you showed yourself strong academically, financially, or socially. But then there was a day like any other day on a very boring calendar when it all just changed. Marriage dissolved, children rebelled, ministry evaporated. Jobs dried up, bank went broke, and your popularity plummeted. You questioned why. “Why, Lord, why?” And He answers like a good surgeon should, “Because it’s time to let me make you strong and whole in all the weak and broken places.”

Yes, it hurts. It might even seem unnecessary for today. But God sees down the road and knows how any and all brokenness will keep us from growing and going in the paths He has for us. The good news is that these are paths we don’t go alone, but we travel with the One who has given us {at least} three promises for our journey. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3). “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made known in weakness” (II Cor. 12:9). “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). God is present in our pain; He is present in our healing. He is the surgeon with perfect bedside manners; patiently waiting with us for His cuts to have the good effect.

Do you have a wound that will not heal? Ask God to bring you wholeness—to cut through your strength to bring healing to your weakness. Be humble enough to welcome His reparative work—as painful as it is. Be courageous enough to receive of His healing and strength.  But whatever you do, don’t just compensate for the wound. Your Good Surgeon awaits. 

6 thoughts on “When Wounds Will Not Heal

    • Thanks, Jennifer. Isn’t it funny how in the early days we limited our thinking to God giving us our kids so we could teach them? Now it’s so clear that He also gave them to us so He could teach us. At least we’re still learning!

  1. Roxann and I needed to hear every word. Thank you, Brenda. We pray for your boy’s complete healing. Your family is such a blessing to us!

    • David, I’m glad that you received some encouragement. Thank you for your prayers. I’m saying some for you and your family too! We will see the goodness of the Lord…

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