We are all wounded. We carry hurt and harm from our past into our present. Out of our wounds we wound. That is out of our wounds left unhealed, we wound. Maybe you have heard the saying, “hurt people, hurt people and healed people, heal people.”
The fact is, we live in a fallen world. Our hearts, minds and bodies can become damaged from the depravity of sin. We cannot escape being wounded. Wounds will happen. The question is what do we do with those wounds?
In all of scripture there is a man who in my mind is set apart by his ability to keep faith while walking through some horrendous wounds. I refer to Job as the “wounded warrior” of the Bible. I say warrior because in order for Job to survive all he survived his journey of faith did not begin with the first tragedy he suffered.
A warrior of faith is a person who trains daily, growing their faith by feasting on the word of God.
A warrior sharpens their reliance on God from hours of prayer in order to be fitted with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). A warrior is battle ready.
I have to believe that Job had been preparing for the trials he would face his whole life until this point. I have to believe the time he spent on his knees in prayer and in the ancient scriptures prepared him for the wounds that would be inflicted on him.
The preparation didn’t mean that the wounds hurt Job less. The preparation means God could use the wounds to produce in Job greater character, faith, and impact through his life’s testimony.
Job was a man of great stature and blameless. He had everything he could have ever imagined, and in mere hours it was all gone. Job lost everything. I mean everything. His kids, his wife, his wealth, his friends, his reputation, his health and his possessions.
Suffering at the hands of so great a loss, Job had a choice.
“His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:9-10)
Job could have chosen to follow the lead of his wife, curse God and die.
Job could have chosen to walk away from his faith and blame God for the unfortunate place he found himself in. He could have chosen to live with anger and hatred toward God and man.
But he didn’t. This wounded warrior, Job trusted God to his core.
When Job says, “shall we accept good from God, and not trouble” I am convicted. I am convicted of the countless times I have blamed God and man, when I have chosen to live in and out of my wound instead of allowing God to heal me.
When a trial arises do you, warrior of God, cower and believe God must have turned his back or removed his grace from your life? What if we, like Job, pressed in and said, “I accept this trouble” trusting that he has a plan for it, trusting God will use it to grow us, stretch us and train us for battle?
Perhaps your life story does not look like the tragedies Job faced. But then again, maybe it does. Maybe you have suffered loss. Maybe you have suffered from illnesses. Maybe you have been surrounded by “encouraging” people like Job’s wife, who tell you to leave your faith. Maybe you have lost your job. Maybe you have lost a business or all your possessions in a fire.
No matter what the wounds, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual we are given a choice. “Curse God and die” or we can choose to walk through the hurt of the wound into a place of healing.
You may say, “well, my wounds happened before I even knew who Jesus was or was old enough to know.” Of course the wounds of the past we cannot go back and prepare for. But we can move through them from here, we can bring the wounds and present them as sacrifice to God. We can begin today by preparing for wounds that may come in the future.
As a person who is being healed of my wounds, I want to live my life as a warrior, making the choice to stay in the battle of faith. I choose each day to hand over my life, and accept what God has for me that day, with open hands and open heart.
Truth is, no one wants to be wounded. No one wants tragedy. But we can be sure that in this life we will have wounds and we will have tragedy. What will you do with the wounds you carry as a warrior of God?
Most times wounds are not healed overnight. I believe that is because there is beauty in the process. There is beauty in the healing. There is deeper healing that comes from the process – over time – wounds are being healed.
I believe God is reaching out to us, his sons and daughters, and saying, “Come to me wounded warriors and find rest in my arms. Come to me and find healing in my hands.” Like Job, we too are wounded warriors of faith. Warriors who press in and grab hold of faith no matter what wounds and tragedies have come our way.
We are warriors because we can find rest, peace and healing at the foot of the cross believing that God will turn beauty to ashes, and graves into gardens. Listen to this song with me as we end our time together. Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship.