I am an aerobic sleeper.
Yes, even though I tend to hate all things "aerobic", it seems that in my sleep my body rebels against me and chooses to operate in the ways of the ninja. I kick sometimes, I steal covers often, and every now and then I find myself with a Wound Of Unknown Origin. Has this ever happened to you?
Usually I won't discover said wound until I am engaged in activity that causes me to use the part of me that has been affected. I'll be washing dishes (in the kitchen where I belong, of course) or doing laundry (but only until I return to the kitchen) and suddenly...OUCH! "What IS this devil of a pain in my elbow?" I exclaim, as my hand raises to cover it.
I quickly move to the restroom, where I can examine this most awkward piece of my anatomy more thoroughly. "Well, what do you know?" I say to myself. "I must have done that while I was sleeping."
Unfortunately, too often this is how I discover my emotional wounds as well.
I'll be going along, in my day to day life, just doing my thing and then OUCH! What the heck was that all about? Something has probed a wound. Immediately, a hand goes up to cover it and keep THAT from happening again. Occasionally, I'll pause to examine it, but most of the time I will just limp along...making sure that this particular pain is avoided at all cost.
Self protection. Defense mechanisms. We have each dealt with at least one, some cases much milder than others, of course. Some of us are so skilled in the act of covering wounds that we have forgotten they were even there to begin with.
Recently, the Lord revealed a wound to me in this manner. I wish I could say that I responded with grace and humility, curiously allowing the wound to be examined as God sought to deal with it.
I did not.
I lashed out at the Instrument that touched my pain and then quickly sought to cover my mangled mess.
Do you have children? They are the most fearless things, aren't they? Climbing to tops of the highest pieces of furniture or playground equipment and then promptly plunging to ground. However, get them into a chair with the threat of cleansing a wound and they then turn into screaming and terrified little animals. I wonder what they're thinking, sometimes:
"What is this hydrogen peroxide you speak of? That sounds suspicious. No way is that pain doing me any good. OUCH!!!!!! You crazy, sadistic, horrible woman! I can't believe you're doing this to me! Whyyyyyy?!?!?! ...Oo! A bandaid. That's better!" (If you read that in Stewie's voice, you're still with me.)
So, this is pretty much what I've been experiencing. Except the cleansing part isn't over, yet.
Once the wound was discovered, I limped home and quickly moved through several steps of grief:
Denial. What wound? I don't see a wound. Oh, you mean that gaping hole in my leg? It's just a flesh wound!
Blame. Probably the Instrument that touched it did it. Yeah, I mean...who says it was even there before that?
Anger. I can't believe I have to even deal with this right now, God! What the heck. I have a race to run!
Depression. Why are You even letting this happen, God? Just take me now and end this horrible pain!
Yesterday, as I moved through these feelings, I begged God for a bandage.
But my Father is much too loving and merciful to do that. This morning He reminded me that a wound must be completely purified before it will begin to heal. Do I want it to fester and become infected? No, of course not. Do I want to get my hands in His way and risk the chance of an ugly scar? No, of course not. Does it feel good in the meantime? No, of course not.
Instead of screaming and crying and throwing a fit about it, though, I imagine this will go a lot more smoothly if I humbly submit to this time of cleansing. Today, I am walking in acceptance that in order for God to be able to bind up my wounds, some purification has to happen first. But thankfully, as I look up into His eyes, they are full of love--His hands are gentle in healing. His words, comforting.
So, thank You, Father. Thank You for being a parent whose infinite wisdom sees beyond my present pain to my complete healing in this area. Thank You for the comfort of Your Word as I endure, and Thank You for the Instruments that You use to examine and reveal areas where I need Your healing hand. In the powerful, precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.