Some time ago, I was listening to a beautiful and gifted sister in the Lord, talk to me about how hurt and offended she was towards some family members and friends that were once dear to her. She went on to explain to me that what hurt her more than the offenses themselves was that everyone who has hurt her during that season of her life seemed to minimize how they hurt her or was careless about her feelings altogether. After having a stream of different conversations with her, I started to see how her current offenses connected to her past offenses which appeared to have overwhelmed and skewed her entire perception of all people. I then began to see how she perceived others and noticed that she had prejudices about almost everyone she encountered. She had no trust for anyone, especially if they resembled those who hurt her. It seemed like no one met her standards of being a Christian or a genuinely good person for that matter. She would actually look for a flaw or a struggle in others then shred them down to meaningless in her mind. As a result, she had a new wall up against them and the next time she encountered them they could only get as close as the wall she had built up for them. My heart ached for her because even though she was very smart and gifted, her pain held her hostage and isolated her from almost everyone around her. It also tainted the beautiful gifts she had inside of her to the point where her pain was far more noticeable than her talents. I could see that she wanted to love but it seemed like she forgot how. I could even see that she really wanted to trust and give people the benefit of the doubt but her past offenses wouldn’t let her do that. It was almost like in her mind, everyone was some kind of an enemy to her. However, the worst thing about her situation was not about who all hurt her but to me, it was about all those she was hurting. Next to that is the fact that just like her offenders, she also had no clue of the damage she was causing in her current and potential relationships.
What’s interesting to me is that before I met this young lady, God was dealing with me on letting go of my past hurts and offenses because I too had begun hurting others as a result. God had to show me how I had allowed years of offenses and unforgiveness to dim His light and hide all the gifts he’s placed inside me to the point where no one could see it at all. Instead, all they saw was a bitter woman who was drowning herself in her pain.
Throughout our relationship, I continued spending time with her and sharing with her the things God was teaching me regarding the very issue she was dealing with. I told her about how God, ever so soothingly, spoke into my heart as he addressed my pain. He said, “Hurting people hurt people but healed people go out and heal people. Who’s going to rise up from their hurt and pain and go heal?”
- Rise Up
When God addressed me about the hurt and offenses I was carrying in my heart, he reminded me that since we live in such a fallen and broken world that’s filled with hate, offenses and death, we’re bound to get caught in the crossfire on the warfare of good and evil and get wounded from time to time which means, we get caught in the crossfire of one another’s issues that leave us wounded. When The Lord told me to rise up, I felt like I was the man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-15 who was troubled with an infirmity for thirty-eight years. Jesus, seeing that the man had been suffering from his condition for a long time asked him,
“Do you want to be made well?” (vs. 6 NKJV)
He did not walk up to the man and ask, “Who did this to you?” or “Why are you like this?” God already knew the answers to these questions. He only needed an answer to one question: Do you want to be healed? Unfortunately, most of us would say in our hearts, what the man with the infirmity said. The man said,
“Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” (vs. 7 NKJV)
Just like this man, we also want it to be known why we are in the conditions that we’re in. We want God and everyone else to know who offended us and caused our hearts to bleed with pain. However, Scripture tells us that Jesus already knew that this man had been suffering for a long time but Jesus didn’t inquire of it. Although I think it’s very necessary to figure out the whys and the hows of our pain, when we enter into the presence of The Almighty Creator, Healer and loving Savior, none of that matters because God is able to rectify all of that!
I believe when the Lord meets us at the crossroads of hurt and healing, he only wants us to acknowledge that we are wounded vessels who’s in desperate need of his healing and need to receive that healing from only him. After we’ve acknowledge the fact that we’ve been walking around and living our lives through our hurt and pain, Jesus then challenges us, just like he challenged the man at the pool of Bethesda, to rise up from it!
- Be Healed
When Jesus told the man at the pool to pick up his bed, I believe in essence, he was telling him to clean out the area that was once reserved for his condition. I believe Jesus wanted that man to realize that he no longer had to sleep in the place where he was suffering but he could now pick up his bed and set it in his new place of healing. Likewise, when Jesus calls us to rise up and pick up our beds, he wants us to evict ourselves from the pain we dwell in and instead live and remain in the healing he provides for us.
- Go Heal
After Jesus told the man to rise and pick up his bed, he told him to walk. He didn’t say it to prove that the man was healed because he already proved it by the man rising. This part of the passage may seem insignificant to some but it can mean so much to those who need it. When Jesus told this man to walk, he was also encouraging him to move forward in his life through the healing that was provided for him and as a result his walking provided a door of healing for others. Can you imagine what it was like seeing a man who had been bound by his condition for almost four decades walking? I’m sure that whoever seen that man wanted to meet the one who healed him!
When we walk in the healing the Lord provides for us, it becomes a beacon that points to the way of healing for others. Not only that, but our walk also points to our lifestyle. When we live a lifestyle of healing we bring healing to others and this is where God desires us to be.
In my case, The Lord challenged me to rise up from the bondage of shame, unforgiveness and resentment then he challenged me to remove myself from all the hurt and pain I was living in because I had been sleeping there for too long. After I received his healing for my own broken and weary soul, He used me to go out and extend healing to someone else.
This is what God wants to do with all of us. He wants people who will accept his healing by rising up, remove themselves from the emotional baggage we once called home and go out and heal others in order to draw them back to him.
Hurting people hurt people but healed people heal others. Who will rise up, be healed and go heal?