We live in a broken world. It desperately needs to be fixed. A day is coming, perhaps not as distant as we may think, that the Divine Physician will bring the ultimate cure that will heal our broken world. But for now – the painful now – we live in a broken world, a world that leads to wounds.
In one sense, we are all wounded. There are the wounds of sin from unsaved days. Some have wounds from abuse received in the homes of unsaved parents. While the Ultimate Samaritan has poured in oil and wine to heal those wounds, scars can remain.
There are wounds we receive as we move as believers through this world. Some are intentional – wounds inflicted by those who oppose the gospel, Christ, and all things spiritual. Some are inflicted unknowingly (hopefully) by other believers. There are wounds from self-centered spouses, and wounds from selfish friends. But whatever the source, we are wounded. Some wounds are superficial; others have penetrated deeply and their depth is known only to the Lord.
What are we supposed to do with wounds? There is a danger linked with them: “hurt people hurt people!” We can use our wounds as a rationalization and justification for inflicting wounds on others. If someone is hurting you, most likely they have been hurt by someone else.
Perhaps a more basic question to ask is “why does God allow wounds?” Scriptures such as James 1:2 and 1 Peter 1:7, which speak of the trial of faith and the perfecting of our character, leap to mind. But God also allows wounds so that we might be able to minister to others (2 Cor 1:4). The wounds on Aaron’s back, received as a slave in Egypt, enabled him to sympathize with his brethren who bore similar wounds. Your wounds were not meant to be wasted on self-pity, God-directed anger, or even premeditated retaliation on others. Your wounds were allowed by God to enable you to minister to others. Our healing can never rival His ability to heal; but He can use you as His nurse!
We all are walking the Jericho road, strewn with men wounded and left half dead (Luke 10). Your wounds are the “oil and wine” which enable you to minister to others. There is need everywhere, far closer to you than you think. Hearts are broken over rebellious families. Lonely widowed saints grieve long after the well-wishers have left and the cards have ceased coming. There are people you meet at the meetings and conferences who wear a cheerful smile which conceals an aching heart.
The Samaritan traveled the Jerusalem-Jericho road knowing he would find someone in need. Don’t waste your wounds. Use them for others. Whether they are the scars of abuse from childhood or misuse as an adolescent, whether they are the wounds intentionally inflicted by some, or unknowingly inflicted by believers, use them for others.