02 Aug Ointment for My Wounds
I have found when I am wounded that my natural reaction is to become stronger.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I don’t typically cower and cry like some might. In the world’s terms, “I find my inner strength,” “I pull myself up by my bootstraps,” or “I put my nose to the grindstone.” It might be enviable to some I suppose. Enviable, until you pull back the curtain and reveal the sin: the strength I find myself naturally turning to is me. It is “strong” in a self-reliant kind of way.
Like a wild animal, when I am pushed in a corner, I fight. I come up swinging, calm, calculated, and devising a way out. Rather than fleeing towards the only true Strength, I turn inward. I rely on my ability to work hard, think well, and act decisively. I summon determination to “overcome.” The result is almost always sleepless nights, frustration, insecurity, and relational distance from God and sometimes people that I care about.
“Like a wild animal, when I am pushed in a corner, I fight . . . Rather than fleeing towards the only true Strength, I turn inward.”
My wounds, the perceived or even actual wrongs, become all-consuming and have at times been debilitating. Like an untreated or mistreated flesh wound, it demands more and more of my attention. And as I continue to apply the wrong ointments of self-pity, self-righteousness, and justice onto the wound, rather than healing, my wound becomes inflamed and infected.
As I wrongly nurse these wounds, they begin to infect other parts of my body. My thinking is clouded and my heart is darkened until the pit I’ve dug for myself feels overwhelming. But conversely, with the right treatment, healing can begin. Not to say there isn’t pain or that I don’t have to reapply, but the risk of infection is diminished. The protection of the rest of my body, my very soul, is spared the damage.
“And as I continue to apply the wrong ointments of self-pity, self-righteousness, and justice onto the wound, rather than healing, my wound becomes inflamed and infected.”
It isn’t coincidence, that the verse of the day from my Bible app is James 1:5-6, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
As I sit and reflect on my Healer, I am overcome with gratitude that He doesn’t leave me where I am. He’s available and eager to soothe my wounds. He is there with the ointment, if only I will open the medicine cabinet.
Originally from Ohio, the warmth of South Carolina is now happily called home. She and her husband Mike have 2 married children, 3 grandchildren and are enjoying life with their soon to be teenager, Sydney. She loves adventure and has more interests and ideas then the time or energy to explore them! Amy attends the Greer campus.