One day my wife, April, and I were in an argument. As our discussion wore on, a sentence popped into my head. I knew right away it was not the right thing to say. It wasn't anything horrible, of course, but it was neither productive nor kind. I knew this, but as our conversation continued to go in circles, someplace in the back of my brain was insisting that, despite its unkind nature, it would feel really satisfying to say it. So before my better nature could get the best of me, I threw out the statement that had been knocking around in my mind.
Immediately I saw a small cut appear on my wife's cheek. It was small, only about two inches long, but deep enough to draw a single drop of blood.
"No," I said, watching the drop of blood run down the side of her cheek, "it was not fine. I should not have said that, and I am very sorry that I did."
She smiled and said, "It's OK. I forgive you."
The drop of blood ran back up her cheek as the cut sealed itself up, leaving no sign it had ever been there.
I see spiritual wounds on people everywhere I go. From minor lacerations, such as the one caused by my unkind words to my wife, to the deep and repeated gashes from lifelong trauma and abuse, wounds are an unavoidable factor of life on earth.
Some appear swollen and infected, signs that bitterness and unforgiveness are beginning to take hold. Some look tended and clean, signs the person is letting God lead him or her into healing. Sometimes only scars remain, a sign that while the wound is no longer present, the memory of the pain the wound caused is still very much alive.
We all experience wounds, but we do not all experience them the same way. I have watched something simple, such as someone not saying hello when passing by in the hall, fester and grow into a wound so severe that it affected every single day of the wounded person's life. I have watched something severe, such as multiple affairs and a messy divorce, be completely transformed into a crown of glory by the wounded person's willingness to submit his or her wounds to the care of the Holy Spirit.
I do not know what God's answer is for every pain that exists in this world, but I have learned enough about the nature of His goodness to trust He has an answer for every single one of the pains. I am also familiar enough with my own nature to know that unless I am willing to run the risk of trusting He is as good as He says He is, then I will not see His goodness or how it responds to suffering.
We all get to choose how we respond to being wounded. We get to choose to hold on to our wounds and let them teach us how to see life, or we get to choose to give our wounds to God and let Him teach us how to see life. We may need help learning how to give it to God. That's OK. Whatever it takes, it is worth learning how to receive the healing God has for each of us.
No matter how severe or unjust the wounds in your life are, God has a perfect plan for perfect restoration—every single time.
This article is adapted fromProfound Good: See God Through the Lens of His Love(Charisma House, 2019) byBlake K. Healy. Healy is one of the senior team members at Bethel Church of Atlanta in Georgia. He is also the director of the Bethel Atlanta School of Supernatural Ministry. He lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with his wife, April, and their four wonderful children: Haydon, Finnley, November and Ender. For more information or to contact Blake, visit blakekhealy.com.