What? Faithful are the wounds a friend? I seem to think that it is the wounds of those closest to me that seem to hurt the most. I realize there is something that makes this statement of wounds (also found in Proverbs 27.5-6) so true – it is the concept “of a friend”. A true friend will encourage, exhort, and rebuke when rebuke is needed. It is not done out of anger, maliciousness, or hatred – but truly done out love and selflessness. And I can get behind that. I need a good Dinozza hit on my head occasionally, but I am only giving my friends permission. Otherwise too many people would be slapping my cranium.
But I also know that there are wounds of those we consider friends, but are really done out arrogance, pharisaical attitudes, maliciousness, and anger. And it is those wounds by people we thought we could trust that seem to leave the biggest marks, the deepest hurts, and emotional scars that take years to truly heal.
I wish I had magic words that eliminated such hurts, erased deep pains, and moved us beyond the scars that remind us even God’s people can hurt us.
There is a story in Scripture, not taught much, except as side notes to Abraham’s life – the story of Hagar. Hagar – exiled, shamed, left for dead along with her son – discovers the healing power of God’s redemptive love. You want to dig a little deeper – here is it – read Anne Graham Lots book Wounded by God’s People: Discovering How God’s Love Heals Our Hearts.
Anne pulls from personal experience of being rejected and wounded by God’s people. Alienated. Shamed. Isolated. She ties in other current stories and connects them to the principles we glean from Hagar.
I wish I could summarize all the wonderful nuggets of truth – but to those that are hurting, let me just share a few that stood out to me …
- God is a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering, miracle-working God.
- You may run from wounders, but you can’t outrun God.
- God is still there – in the wilderness and on the periphery.
- We need to close the door on the past so we can move forward into the love and healing of the Lord.
- God is with us, His Spirit is within us, and His Son is going before us.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds – and to that – AMEN!