Hurt, Healing and Hindsight

OUCH! That hurt! When we stub our toe, that is usually our response to the pain. We can’t deny the hurt and it comes in varying degrees, depending on how hard our toe slammed into the object. All we need to do is look down at our battered and bruised appendage to see the results of our appointment with affliction.

If I were a betting woman, I would put my life savings down on the probability that you have experienced hurt in your life. Like stubbing our toe, it might be a bruise, broken bone or the ripping off of a toenail. Remember I did begin this blog with OUCH!!! It is inevitable, we will experience stubbed toes on our journey to glory.

The next step to soothing our hurt might be an ice pack or antibiotic ointment. I can’t imagine ignoring the soreness. Can you? Depending on the degree of the affliction, will come the amount of the remedy needed to heal our malady. Soothing the pain becomes a reality and ignoring it leads to more intense hurt.

Could the hurt have been avoided? Maybe yes…maybe no. Years ago, I woke in the middle of the night and headed for the bathroom in the dark. You know where I’m going with this. BAM! I walked full force into the wall with my nose taking the brunt of the impact. I hope you are laughing at my mishap. I am and as we say…LOL! The saying goes…hindsight is 20-20. In hindsight, I could have said to myself, “If only…I had turned on the light, or if only…I had felt my way along the furniture to get to my destination”. Oh my, those “if only’s” can be humbling and haunting.

Hindsight is defined as the recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence. What is the purpose of hindsight? To look back and alter the situation, if possible. The key here is learning from the event and walking a bit more carefully the next go around.

What potential does the above example have for us in our lives as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ? Let’s consider a few applications from the Word of God.

9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:9–15

Have you ever considered the fact that without hurt there would be no need of forgiveness? When we are hurt or cause someone else pain, forgiveness is essential to healing. Please take a moment and read v. 9-11 and place yourself into the context of the Lord’s Prayer.

What does forgiveness have to do with hurt, healing and hindsight?

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Forgiveness requires the payment of a debt. If there were no debts, the need for forgiveness would vanish. There is a need for payment owed. In this verse, debts are the equivalent to sins. Pain and hurt are the result of sin. Sin affects us all. Our nature tends to only look at the wrong done to us and the affliction it brings into our lives. As a Christian though, we do not have the luxury of assessing hurt in a one-sided manner. Often times, we are the creators of the lacerations in another’s life. Regardless of where it originated, we can all agree that pain is pain and PAIN HURTS!

There was never more hurt and crushing pain experienced by anyone like that of Jesus Christ.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

On a daily basis, we hurt the heart of God by our sin. Yet, forgiveness flows out of God’s unending love and mercy bestowed upon us in Christ. As the sun is sure to rise in the morning, we can know “stubbed toes” will happen.

Will you grip the pain tightly or seek a salve for healing?

Healing requires forgiving sins and forgiveness is not optional. Do you really want to move on from the bruises you have incurred or have dished out? If so, you will walk in obedience to the truth Matthew 6:12.

Jesus, our example, expects no less from us.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14-15

Healing simply will not come, if you do not forgive. What if the one who initiated the hurt does not ask for forgiveness? Forgive anyway. What if you have delivered the knock out blow to another person? Ask for forgiveness anyway. Don’t let pride keep you from health and well-being.

How can we forgive? News flash! It’s not possible apart from the power of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Just ask Him to come to help you…He will.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
11 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?
12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?
13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Luke 11:9–13

Utilize hindsight to learn from the pain. One important aspect of studying the Bible is the step where application takes flight. Do you desire to move past the past? Seek the Lord through His Word and prayer. Ask Him to reveal ways you can learn from your experiences and move on! Turn from any part you may have played in your circumstance and forgive yourself. There are times we need to be kind to ourselves, tender-hearted and forgiving, just as God in Christ has forgiven us.

30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:30–32

Meditate on what the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote in Philippians 3:12-14:

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Now let it go…all of it. Press on! You will never win the race, if you try to run with a satchel full of rocks on your back. And if you don’t run the race, you will miss out on the prize of hearing from the Lord “well done, good and faithful slave.”

21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
Matthew 25:21

It’s past time to move beyond my own “stubbed toes”, too! I’m running right alongside you as you allow God’s Word to spur you on.

Are You Angry Today?

What is the difference between the anger of men and the anger of God?

In this season of life, I am discovering in a more intimate way how deep the Father’s love is for me. Everything He does in my day-to-day existence is from a heart that bleeds with love. This morning I’m diving into the book of Amos in preparation for teaching through the Kings and Prophets series produced by Precept Ministries, Int’l.  In Amos 1, the Lord is promising judgment on a few nations for their sinful and destructive behavior. My question in prayer is “Lord, how can you send judgment and be loving simultaneously? You are teaching me how great a love you have for all people…yet judgment???”

In a small whisper, I am awakened to the truth that my Father’s anger and judgment for transgression and sin is always motivated by love  and seeks the highest good for the individual or nation. As a Christian, how is my anger over sin revealed in my heart? If it is not motivated by the unconditional love of God for the person or nation and to see them be drawn into a deep and abiding love relationship with their Creator…than my anger is amiss.

Are you angry today? Be sure it is in line with the Word of God and His character.

May the Lord Use Our Sinking Ships

Sometimes the consequences of our sin hurl a storm into other’s lives. Yet…even in our failures…God can redeem!

As a result of Jonah’s sin, a great tempest had a ripple effect into those around him on the ship. Yet…it caused them to seek out Jonah and his God!

Why  not allow the Lord Jesus to use your disappointments, wanderings and “sinking ships” to point people to the God who has saved you from all sin. Look up for your redemption draws near.

Jonah 1:1–6

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,

2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

4 The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.

6 So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”

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