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by Cary Branscum

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    My uncle Paul had one till the day he died. If he took his shirt off in the heat of the day, I’d gawk at his side. Uncle Paul served in World War II, and a piece of shrapnel took a chunk out of his side. The skin healed around the wound, and he got used to it, but the wound was still there. He lived, and laughed, and worked and loved — and the wound was always still there. On cold days, it would sometimes ache.

    Several days ago, a picture from the conflict in Iraq showed a table filled with Purple Hearts, special medals awarded to soldiers wounded in the line of duty. My Uncle Paul had wounds to carry, soldiers from all wars have them, and you and I have them, too.

    Physical wounds present special challenges. We want them to heal as well as they can, and we want to function with them as fully as possible. You may not have any deep, life-changing physical wounds. So far in life, you may have physically come through relatively unscathed.

    At the same time, each and every one of us carry wounds that are just as real, just as life-changing, and just as challenging. These wounds may be unseen, undetected by others, but they are very real wounds. These are the wounds of the spirit and of the heart.

    The Bible has some vital things to say about our wounds.

    First, we must realize some wounds can actually serve for our spiritual healing. Proverbs 27:6 tells us that the wounds from a friend can be trusted. Sometimes it takes our closest friends to tell us the hardest truth. While the truth hurts, afterwards those wounds heal us, and help make us whole.

    Second, we must realize that some of our worst wounds were taken for us. Isaiah 53:5 tells us that Christ was wounded for our transgressions. He gave his life for us. He bore our wounds. We are healed by his complete, perfect, love and sacrifice.

    Third, as Christians we are challenged to be thoughtful and loving in our actions. 1 Corinthians 8:12 warns us against wounding the conscience of another, because to do so is to sin against Christ!

Christ took our wounds upon himself...
    Fourth, we are to follow the example of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 and be a neighbor those who are wounded. We are called to help bandage the spirit and heart-wounds of others.

    Have you received some wounds you’ll carry the rest of your life? Of course you have. We can’t fix everything. We can’t erase every wound. In fact, we don’t need to. Christ took our wounds upon himself, and gives us strength to carry the wounds we must carry.

    So let’s be honest. Have you wounded someone else? Of course you have, and so have I. Have we tried to make it right? Have we been sensitive and tried to dress the wounds and pray for healing? Even after we have done all we can do, some wounds will be the wounds we carry. Some of those we carry will be ones we’ve received, and some of them will be wounds we’ve given.

    Finally, let’s remember we serve a wounded Saviour. He was wounded for our transgressions and by His wounds we are healed. God has a greater life and glory in mind for each one of us. And the wounds we carry somehow fit us for that fife — not only in Heaven, but here and now. Like my Uncle Paul, let’s live and laugh and work and love, and let the wound still be there. Carry on!

 
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      ©2003, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Cary Branscum
      Publication Date: May 26, 2003


 
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