Recently, I participated in a Zoom conference call as a pastor taught the Scriptures. He made a statement that I cannot escape. He said there are times when God wounds us.
We all love to think about how God will bless us, add to our lives, and make us more comfortable. Yes, God does strengthen and aid us, but sometimes His idea of strength and my idea of strength are different. What if God must wound me that He might teach me to depend upon Him?
Are there not people in the Scriptures who can testify to being wounded of God?
- Job lost his wealth, his children, his reputation, and his health
- Jacob limped the rest of his life after a wrestling match with God
- Joseph spent time in prison and false accused of crimes
- David found the ruins of his city, Ziklag, and heard his men talk of stoning him
- Paul testified to having a thorn in the flesh
- John was exiled to an island called Patmos
God sometimes must wound us that He might lead us to greener pastures.
Years ago, I sat across the breakfast table from my pastor. He looked me in the eye and said, “You’re not productive.” He was speaking of my role in the ministry as his assistant. I was devastated! I felt empty, worthless, and useless at the same time. Later, I shed tears over his cutting remarks, but God used it. The Lord pushed me to my knees. He fed my hurting soul with John 15:5, and He used my pastor’s brutal honesty to point out some areas of my life that needed help.
There are times when God wounds us, but His woundings are not cruel. They are given to draw us closer to Himself. Listen at the words of the wounded Paul:
…There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness….II Corinthians 12:7-9
Perhaps the wounded Paul thought that his life, ministry, and usefulness were over. Yet, it was in his wounding that he found God to be all he needed. Had he not received the thorn in the flesh, he would not have “besought the Lord thrice.” Without the wounding, Paul would never have heard those blessed words, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
We think the wounding cripples us and hinders us. God uses the wounding to set us free. Without Christ, I can do nothing, but what must God do to teach me that great lesson?
No, I am not asking to limp the rest of my life as did Jacob, but I wish to recognize that Jacob was stronger with a halt in his thigh than he was on two strong legs.
Think not that your life is over if God should wound you. Let your woundings spur you to His side. Lean upon Him! Discover that HE is your strength, not the health, people, or materials in your life. God wounds us that He might strengthen us.