by Nancy Kay Grace @NancyKayGrace
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NIV
Have you ever had an annoying injury that took a long time to heal?
One vacation, my husband Rick and I decided to go zip lining. It would be an adventurous break from our usual pace of life, pushing me out of my comfort zone as I flung my body on a cable high through the treetops. Previous zip lining experiences were energizing from the adrenaline rush. However, what happened this day was not so pleasurable.
The first zip was a short one to gain confidence. No problem. My second zip started out fine, but midway I turned around on the cable. I flew backwards toward the next platform, unable to judge my speed or stopping distance.
Smack! I hit the platform with force. Pain radiated through the back of my left calf to my toes. Regaining my balance on the platform, I wondered how seriously I had injured my leg.
Moments later, Rick landed his zip with an exuberant smile. He didn’t witness my ungraceful, painful landing.
I finished the remaining course, pushing through pain and the light rain. The zip lining experience was miserable, disappointing, and disheartening.
That night I iced and elevated my leg to alleviate pain and swelling.
Although I didn’t walk with a limp, a deep purple bruise surfaced on my calf during the next days and weeks.
Almost two months later, my calf remained painful to the touch, although no dark discoloration was visible. Internal healing continued long after the surface bruise disappeared.
That zip-lining experience eventually was no more than a distant memory.
Often we need healing from unseen emotional or spiritual wounds. We might seem healed on the outside, but pain remains deep within our hearts. Unhealthy family patterns, such as blaming or shaming, can lead to lifelong emotional pain. Hurtful words damage relationships. A wounded person can go through life looking fine from the outside, but feeling despair on the inside.
God’s word promises that he “heals the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV). This verse has brought comfort to me in many situations, when I’ve felt hurt by an unkind comment or grieved a relationship loss. Turning to God in prayer, I know He is near; I am not alone in my pain. God’s comfort binds my bruised heart with His love. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 NIV
Like physical healing, emotional healing takes time. When the hurt heart intersects with the ultimate Healer, the burden is eased. In his time and through his grace, the Lord heals the brokenhearted. Hope is restored. Internal healing begins. Joy returns. God transforms the painful wound into a scar. Scars are a natural part of the healing process.
The scar may be unseen, but the memory serves as a reminder of the restorative work of God.
On a later vacation, I mounted another zip line platform, determined to try again. The flashback of the injury came to mind. With hands perspiring, I grabbed the harness and took a deep breath. I had to go forward, pushing past the painful memory. Stepping off the platform, I sailed through the trees, landing without injury.
There is hope for the unseen hurt.
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace enjoys the outdoors and zip lining. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives. She has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, The Upper Room devotional, as well as online and print magazine articles. Nancy loves sharing stories of God’s faithfulness and grace. Please visit http://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for the monthly GraceNotes devotional newsletter.
Join the conversation: Is there an unseen wound in your heart that needs healing?