If you were to peel back the layers that you put over yourself in the name of self-preservation, what kind of hurts would be exposed. Perhaps you have been burying the pain associated with an abusive childhood for years. Maybe your most painful moments didn’t start when you were a child, but you’ve dealt with plenty of painful moments as an adult. Whatever the source of your painful times are, it’s important to recognize that we have a Healer who is able to heal even the most carefully hidden hurts.
When someone asks you how you’re doing, how many times do you put on a brave face, smile, and say that you’re doing good? While the painful scars on the inside are screaming out in agony, we often try our best to put on a mask, hide the hurt, and bury the pain of our pasts so far down that no one could ever know what we’re really feeling. Not only is that not a healthy approach, it’s also not an honest one.
Before we take a deeper dive into the idea of being honest, we should clear up one potential misconception. Being honest about your hurt doesn’t mean that you share every issue that you’re facing with every person. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who cannot be trusted and who are looking for opportunities to use your weakness against you. It’s a good idea to have trusted Christians in your life who you know will help you, pray with you, and encourage you, even in the face of your most painful moments.
However, today’s study is primarily about being honest with ourselves. It’s actually possible to get so accustomed to saying that we’re alright that we actually start to believe it, even when it’s not true. It is vitally important that you understand the importance of being honest with yourself about the hidden hurts that you have buried deep down in the recesses of your life.
Our hurts come from any number of things. Perhaps you were raised in a loveless, abusive home by parents who did things to you that are shameful. Maybe you didn’t know what it was like to come home each day to a loving, safe home, and now, you’re dealing with the hurt associated with it. Maybe your hurt didn’t start in your childhood, but you have dealt with the pain of failed romantic relationships that have left you feeling used, worthless, and exhausted. Perhaps your most hidden hurts stem from the betrayal of a close friend. All of us have hurts, and we generally try our best to bury them so they don’t surface any more.
God cannot heal what you don’t admit needs healing. Throughout Scripture, God never forced physical or spiritual healing on anyone. Instead, He waited for those who were sick to recognize their need for a Healer. He does the same with us. Today, the process of healing the hidden hurts can begin. Learn more about what it means to experience healing for the hidden hurts today.
Better Days Ahead
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
But forget all that-it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Trauma is a tricky concept. Obviously, if you can look back on an event in your life and consider it traumatic, it was. However, if you think that an event in your life wasn’t traumatic, you may not be correct. This is because trauma impacts different people in different ways. To make matters even more complicated, different types of traumas can impact the same person in different ways.
The first step to experiencing healing in the hidden hurts of your life is found in acknowledging that you have some scars. We often like to rely on the false gospel of self-reliance in the name of making sure that we appear strong. However, we’re not supposed to look strong. Instead, we are supposed to make sure that God is seen as the source of our strength.
In this passage from Isaiah, God points the prophet toward the promise of something new. However, before we can embrace something new, we must acknowledge something old. Take a few moments and allow yourself to be completely honest about the trauma that you may have experienced in your life. Acknowledge any areas in your life that still feel impacted by the events that have left you feeling traumatized. When you do that, God can begin doing a new thing in your life, too.
Transitioning from Lack to Abundance
John 10:10 (NLT)
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Have you ever had something stolen from you? Take a moment and think back over your life. Perhaps you’ve never had someone break in your home while you were away and rob you. Maybe your run-in with a thief was something small when you were a child. Whether someone stole your favorite toy, took an item out of your locker, or ransacked your house of every valuable they could get, there is nothing comparable to that feeling of being violated. When we own something, we recognize that it is completely ours. When someone takes something that is ours, we may experience any number of emotions ranging from anger to sadness.
Satan’s primary purpose is to steal the spiritual gifts that God has given us. Those gifts include peace, security, joy, happiness, and any other number of things. In addition to recognizing trauma that we have experienced, we can also experience healing by recognizing the source of the trauma.
Our Heavenly Father has promised countless times in His Word to fill our lives with various good things. Nothing bad comes from Him. In fact, Christ explained in the passage that we just read that His purpose was to give us “rich and satisfying lives.”
Today, you can heal your existing trauma and prevent future ones by locking out the thief. In the same way that you wouldn’t open the door of your home to a thief, you shouldn’t open the door of your heart to the one who Christ said comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.
Just Be Held
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Once you have experienced true honesty with yourself about your hidden hurt, carry that honesty to the Lord in prayer. In the verses that precede the passage that we just read, Paul spoke about a “thorn in the flesh.” It was some source of constant pain for him. While we don’t know if this thorn was physical or spiritual in nature, we know that it damaged Paul.
Paul asked God three times to make the thorn go away, but God declined his request. Instead, God told Paul that he would simply use that thorn to better make His strength known in Paul’s life.
When we’re honest with God about our source of hidden hurt, He will often heal us. Afterall, His Word declares that He is a healer. However, He may also show us opportunities where we can use our hidden hurt to more effectively minister to others. Whatever the answer is, you can rest in His arms.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to be honest with myself about the pain and suffering that I have buried for so long. Help me to look for Your goodness in the face of my pain and suffering. Most of all, help me to recognize the ways that You can use what I’ve been through so I can more effectively minister to others who are hurting. In Christ’s name, Amen.