I had a bit of a “rude awakening” today. Our mornings are usually busy getting kids ready for school. This morning, as I was making breakfast for my daughter, I knocked over a glass that shattered on the floor. As I jumped to get out of the way, my foot landed on one of the pieces of glass and cut deep into my bare foot. It was not a pretty sight…
After getting my daughter on the school bus, I went straight to the hospital to get it checked out (leaving my wife, Cindy, with the task of getting our other two kids ready). After waiting a short time, I went in to see the doctor. She takes a look and says, “Yes, you definitely need stitches.”
Now, this isn’t my first time in an emergency room, so I know what’s about to happen and I’m not too excited about it. I’m not nervous, I’m anxious. Because my least favourite part of the process is what happens first: cleaning the wound. They have to make sure no foreign objects are inside the cut, so what they do is dig further into the cut to clean it to make sure it’s all clear.
I literally hate that so much.
The wound is fresh, the pain is still there, but they’re going in and making it even more painful! ARGH! But, as much as I hate it, I know it’s necessary. To make sure the wound heals correctly, it must be cleaned.
In Psalm 38, we see David petitioning God for help. He is wounded both physically and spiritually. Go read the whole Psalm when you get a chance, but here’s one piece of it:
“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.” Psalm 38:4-6 NIV
He is in pain and he is calling out to God for help. He covers every aspect of his strain. What I find encouraging is that David is setting a great example by digging down deep into his problem and confessing his sin, pain, and sorrow to God. He pinpoints his problems. He is honestly assessing his deep “cuts” and pleading to God for His help.
He concludes the Psalm with:
“LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Saviour.” Psalm 38:21-22 NIV
In the midst of his trial, he continues to trust in God and His strength.
We all have wounds. We all have pain. But a lot of the time, we don’t want to talk about our struggles. We bottle them up and keep moving forward. Putting on a brave face and a tough exterior. But that can be crippling. I encourage us all to assess our wounds and if we need to dig further—even if it’s more painful—dig further. This doesn’t have to be done alone. There’s community at our church and there’s help all around. Discover the root of the pain and let God begin the healing process.
*Note: Psalms were meant to be sung. This particular Psalm is a struggle with sin and pain, so it’s a bit hard to imagine as a song. However, I found this video created by a random internet person and I think it’s pretty powerful to hear these words put to music.