As you walk through the woods or stroll along the lakeshore you might notice trees with fresh injuries or old wounds that managed to heal. The picture on the left shows recent chewing marks, the typical damage a beaver can do to trees. The wound at the base of the beech tree on the right was caused by porcupines. They attack all the northern hardwood species. The teeth marks can be seen even after the wounds are very old.
Reflecting on these wounds, brings a few things to mind: on the one hand we realize that life is tough, that we’re under attack, and that there is an enemy trying to bring us down. On the other hand, we can also see the miracle of life created by God, a life that’s resilient, that can be healed and restored and even become stronger in the process.
Christians have always experienced these struggles, and severe wounds have been inflicted on them throughout church history. Paul lists a whole litany of woes that he personally encountered (in 2.Cor.11:23-27 VOICE): “I have … taken more beatings, been dragged in and out of prisons, and have been eye-to-eye with death. Five times I have withstood thirty-nine lashes from Jewish authorities, three times I was battered with rods, once I was almost stoned to death, three times I was shipwrecked, and I spent one day and night adrift on the sea. I have been on many journeys and faced the most extreme circumstances: perilous rivers, violent thieves, and threats by my own people and by the Gentile outsiders alike. I have faced dangers in the city, in the wilderness, and at sea; and danger from spies among our brothers and sisters. I have survived toil and hardships, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst without a crumb in sight, bare to the cold.”
Paul knew a thing or two about being wounded. But he also experienced help in the midst of his injuries. At Philppi, after having been beaten with rods, mercilessly flogged, chained up in a dungeon and survived an earthquake, the jailor washed their wounds and fed them (Acts 16:33). It also was no small blessing for Paul to have a medical professional as a travelling companion and so he spoke quite fondly of Luke, “the beloved physician” (Col.4:14 NASB).
In Lk.10:33-35 (MSG), Jesus tells the parable of a man beaten up by robbers that really needed help, yet was ignored by several people until a “Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.”
Every so often all of us need a Good Samaritan to come alongside of us when we’ve been beaten up and left alone on the sidelines. We need people to take care of our wounds, our acute symptoms, and also provide a referral for longer term rehab and therapy so that these wounds can fully heal.
Of course, the most important referral a Good Samaritan can make is getting the injured in touch with the Great Physician, with Yahweh Rapha, with the God who restores us to health, with the God who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps.147:3 NASB), who promises to His people “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal” (Jer.30:17 ESV).
But treatment isn’t necessarily easy to go through. In fact, often the doctor has to cut off a bit more infected flesh and increase the wound before it can be healed. Even arborists (tree doctors) will carefully cut away pieces of infected bark to save the life of a tree.
1. Deep trunk wound on cherry tree
2. Trim away loose bark around
wound. Shape wound. Make a
clean edge between vigorous
bark and exposed wood. Use
a sharp knife.
3. Wound is healing through callus
formation. Help tree maintain its
vigor and protect it from further
God might have to do that kind of surgery in our lives as well. The prophet Hosea talked about that (in Hos.6:1 NCV): “Come, let’s go back to the Lord. He has hurt us, but he will heal us. He has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds.” When God inflicts wounds on us, it’s not because He hates us, but because He loves us. As Proverbs 27:6 (VOICE) states: “Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful”. And God is the most faithful friend we can ever have!
This Healer-God spares no expense to bring total health-giving treatment to us as Peter points out in 1.Pet.2:21-24 (MSG): “Christ … suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong, Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing.”
It’s a wonderful, mysterious, but very real exchange: His wounds became the healing for our wounds. It’s what all of humankind has looked forward to and what Isaiah predicted would be accomplished by the Suffering Servant, the Messiah (in Is.53:5 NCV): “He was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds.”
The healing of all our wounds has become a reality in Christ! Halleluiah!
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.