As a senior and a 300-meter track runner, nothing would stand in my way from qualifying for the upcoming state meet…except one hurdle. I prepared my mind for this race. My long spikes would aid my footing and grip on the dirt track. The gun fires and off we go. My position was good with one other runner just barely in front of me. I knew I could take her on the long stretch. Closing in with two hurdles left, my steps were off so I stretched extra-long allowing my trail leg to clip the hurdle sending me straight to the ground. My head hit the rough, hard surface with a loud bang as the impact forced it to bounce off the track only for it to fall and hit once again. The audience gasped in unison. It took a second to realize my opponents were passing me, all of them! I had to get up and finish, even if I didn’t win. I began to pick myself up as blood covered my arm and legs and my head was spinning. Coaches and staff were there as I stood leading me off the track. But I had to finish! They were in my way…I had to finish. Instead I was taken to the trainers and medics which in retrospect was where I needed to be.
How often do we do this in relationships? Everything is going well and then in an instant you’ve been hurt by actions or words of someone you love and you’re left trying to move forward but in reality, you need to tend to the wounds. Learning to handle hurt is one of the greatest molding factors that will develop you as a person. Hurt will either build or destroy your character; you choose, but none of us are exempt from getting hurt.
Just as the medics took the time to assess my injuries, we too need to assess our personal, inward injuries; why does it hurt? Whether through painful actions of another or through words that pierced like arrows, it hurts because we feel rejected. Rejection causes the hurt and the hurt if not processed in a healthy way, becomes part of who you are. Acts 8:23 states, “For I see you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” The meaning of sin used in this context means injustice, wrongdoing or hurt. When offended, we become captive to the hurt or injustice and if not handled well it consumes. In order to heal from rejection, we need a change of heart, for our significance lies in the One who will never reject us but offer healing salve to our wounds.
I love Elsa in the movie “Frozen” when she sings to the top of her lungs, flailing her arms to the sky, “Let it go, let go, can’t hold it back anymore”. Many of us can learn from the Disney movie to release the hurt and give it to the One we trust, where rejection is never found. Jesus is the only one who can truly heal a hurting heart. The act of giving it to Him allows for Him to come and apply the soothing ointment of His love, His tenderness and His healing hand.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” To heal, we choose kindness, compassion and if not already offered, forgiveness (to read more on forgiveness click here.) These qualities are given to the offender freely through the healing that has taken place inwardly. This undoubtedly draws us into His presence as Acts 3:19-20 says,” Repent, then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you-even Jesus.” Through grace your hurts will turn to healing as you stand in the Presence of Jesus. This is where we all should be, in His midst completely surrendered to Him.
Today, I carry the scars from that accident but it doesn’t hurt anymore. The scars point to a memory of hurt and healing. In order to heal, we must give and we can only give the hurt when we trust in Jesus. Inwardly we too may carry scars, but when we heal as Jesus wants us to heal the scars will resemble that of His Son who stretched His arms out for us and died. And that my friend, is far more beautiful and pleasing to the Lord. What scars do you have that have healed well?