BLESSED is the one with many and varied struggles — especially if they minister.
For they have ascended the lofty heights of the abyss to minister encouragement in their brokenness as they bleed, and for the broken that is rich encouragement indeed!
Not that there isn’t a great capacity in the wounded healer to bear. They bear more than others are able to care. And such caring is beyond the reach of just anyone. The wounded healer shows all how to fall, just as they show those who may notice to stand. They know both ways. Their credibility is one of having accomplished both things — they have the strength of vulnerability in their shame, and they have life experience of overcoming in Jesus’ name.
Oh, I do struggle, and not for any other reason than I’m me. Circumstances conspire, for sure, but I’m me and I always will be.
One thing our vulnerability will do, apart from setting us free to be honest with ourselves; it will also freak others out. Nobody expects people to be really honest these days. Or do they want it? Blessed are we more in life when we discern what half-truths are safe to tell — and, who’s safe to share with. Yet we must tell ourselves the truth: the blessing of vulnerability is it sets us on a course to resilience.
If it was the last thing I could say or write it would be this. Trust. Learn to trust again. Trust again and again and again. Then we’ll find the classic truth: we’ve been vulnerable all along, and in that we’re blessed. To have lived courageously is blessed. Stressful, yet blessed. Horrifying at times, yet blessed. Too hard, very often, yet still very blessed.
If it was the last thing I could do it would be to help myself up; to imagine Jesus helping me up to go another round in life. Only when I’ve helped myself up am I in a position of helping another person who’s fallen to get back up.
The wounded healer, then, is a teacher in resilience, about the blessed strength in vulnerability, in how God actually works when we trust him.
God knows all our troubles,
Our despairs are his eternal cares,
So today give God your struggles,
And he will be your Lord who bears.
God can help in our strife,
Our burdens are those he shares,
Sharing with another brings life,
The Lord shows through them he cares.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.