There are times when life just hurts, deeply. We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them. Time passes, and the wounds heal. We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3
However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again. Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed. We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.
Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?
It festers. A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.
While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls. A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock. He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever. A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm. He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need. At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen. The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.
We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel. Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd. And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.
Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen. The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently. He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures. He commissions us to:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
When it hurts, pray for healing. Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God. The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.
Forgive. Love. Pray. Trust.