There is a tired cliche that’s meant to be encouragement. When something bad happens, usually at least one person will tell you that with time, it will pass, and you’ll feel better.
But what about bitterness that festers? Doesn’t that get worse with time?
I think, instead, this advice is more akin to never studying but praying for an A as you walk through the door to take your final. Yes, praying is good, but God is not a genie. And neither is time.
While time is an important part of the healing process, it’s not the only part.
If you pull a muscle, you can’t expect for it to heal immediately. You need to give it time. But it’s what you do during that time that’s what makes the difference.
Thanks to Facebook, I’m still vaguely in touch with some of the people I knew from church when I was a teenager. What strikes me so powerfully is to see how some of them have turned out. I don’t mean in a judgmental way. Some of them came from rougher backgrounds. Others just always seemed to be on the peripheral, never quite fitting in with the rest.
I often kick myself for not being a friend to some of these people when I knew I should have. I knew at the time something was wrong, but I was more concerned with myself.
These days I as a peruse my Facebook feed, I’ll come across some of these same faces issuing undying commitments of love to their gay partner, or others who are self-medicating with massive amounts of partying.
I can’t say that I know them just because I knew them 15 years ago.
But in some cases, I see people who are still hurting. They’ve gotten older. And with age has come boldness. But the hurt hasn’t gone.
This is true for those who are Christians and those who aren’t. Hurt is a part of life.
Fortunately, our Creator cares enough to do something about it. Not only has he healed our eternal, spiritual problem. But he desires to heal our daily work problems, and our lost-keys problems, and our my-relationship-is-falling-apart problems.
But for what in return?
This, I think, is the great part.
You must must give him every fiber of yourself.
But when you see the payoff, the healing, the peace, the purpose…you everything seems like nothing. What you’re really doing is swapping death wrapped in the facade of life for a real life. For real joy. And for real forgiveness.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground