Two years ago I fell while trail running, and skinned my knees terribly. I washed and bandaged them and limped along, but I soon realized I wasn’t healing well. I finally saw a doctor six days after the injury. The doctor explained that my healing was blocked by the presence of dirt and dead skin, and he would have to slowly reopen the wounds to remove it all, so that I could truly heal. It was one of the most painful medical procedures I’ve endured.
The Lord used my injured knees as an object lesson. That same day, an email came that reopened an emotional wound I had tried to brush off. I sobbed as I finally faced the depth and ugliness of what had been done to me. But then I began to truly heal from it.
Dr. Henry Cloud teaches that, “Denial of emotions leads to depression, because sadness is God’s way of dealing with hurt and loss.” When I shrink from grief, it always finds another way to express itself–perhaps as fear, anger, or depression. Jesus is never content to have me limping my way down the course with suppressed emotions from half-healed wounds. He strengthens me to face the pain, one layer at a time, so that I can be fully healed and run the race freely.
When I allow myself to mourn in the presence of God, He performs surgery on my open heart. He helps me to process the pain, uses it to change me for the better, and then turns my mourning into dancing (Psalms 142 and 30)!
What pain do you need to face today? If you’re afraid to face it alone, seek a counselor and intercessor who will help you to feel the presence of the Healer. Rest in the promises that you never cry alone (Psalm 34:18), and that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” (Matthew 5:4, ESV). I’m praying for you!