Hurt? Now What?
- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 09/4/2008
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
"If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God." (Psalm 55:12-14)
Have you ever been hurt before? By someone close? Who hasn't? The pain can go so deep. It can even feel like there is no relief in sight. There are many ways to react to the pain. Some take 'pain relievers' with harmful side effects. They can come in many forms. Can you think of some?
Some people dive into the bottle and drink their life away. Others take other kinds of drugs. Than there are those who do other things like give themselves to immorality. There are many side effects to these 'relievers.' There can be the hang over, addictions that rob money, families, lives and than there could be the dreaded STD's or unplanned pregnancies.
But there can also be more subtle relievers. It can come in the form of overeating, watching too much TV or overspending cash on useless things. The side effects can lead to obesity, laziness or event debt in these cases. There are other side effects as well...
Another 'reliever' can come in the form of blaming the person that hurt you. Some people spend there entire life blaming others. And they might be rightfully so in doing it. They may be justified in doing so especially if they are brutally victimized. They may get some feeling of relief in the beginning but not for long. These victims can end up feeling very lonely and isolated. They become so fearful and suspicious of other people and can never become close, intimate or even vulnerable in any relationship. The end up pushing all people out of their life to avoid the risk of the pain and trauma they experienced from a previous broken relationship.
The other pain reliever is to retaliate. To hurt the person who hurt you and let them experience what that person has done to you? Make them pay and maybe take it a step further and hurt them even more. Take vengeance into your own hands.
Whatever the reliever is, they serve a specific purpose. What they have in common is that they coax the victim of the feeling of the anguish but only temporarily. It doesn't take the pain away for good. The anguish can come back in a flood or wave and it is back to the relievers again. It can be a vicious cycle and will only exasperate the problem with the side effects which compounds the problem.
So what are the answers? Sometimes there are no cut and dry answers or clear cut solutions to these issues but one thing that can be said is that God is not ignorant to pain. We worship Jesus, a God who had a very painful life here on earth. He knows what it is like to be hurt or rejected (Isaiah 53:3). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He knows what it is like to hurt and even weep (Luke 19:41; John 11:35). For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (Hebrews 12:3). He also was in the position to retaliate but didn't. He could made them pay, get a piece of them and do even worse but didn't, "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (1 Peter 2:23)
How does this help? Since God knows all about pain, invite Jesus into your pain. Take him right inside of it. Pour out your heart to him. Cast your burden to him (Psalm 55:22). Cry out to him (Psalm 55:17).
What is the advantage to doing this? There are many. There are no painful side effects the create even more problems for one thing. Also sometimes God can use you pain to help others.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (1 Corinthians 1:3-4)
There is more value to our pain that will be looked at later.