Yesterday morning I cut the outside of my right hand on a metal box. The pain was instantaneous and I was annoyed with myself for being careless and allowing the cut to happen. I went and found a bandaid and covered it up to stop the bleeding. Throughout the rest of the work day I forgot about my hand because the pain had subsided.
Later, that evening, I went to my new house to sand and mow the lawn. As I started mowing, the bandaid started to fall off so I peeled it all off. Immediately the pain resumed as the air stung my exposed flesh. I didn’t have another bandaid, so I pushed through the sting and continued my work. As I was driving back to my parents house my hand continued to sting. It wasn’t that the pain was overwhelming by any means. It was more just a nuisance – an annoyance. I began to think about how Paul was given a thorn in his side.
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
I started to think about how whenever we are facing something painful or we are going through something hard, our focus shifts to lessening our pain and easing our life. With my cut, I instantly applied a bandaid so as to remove the sting from the air. However, wounds do not heal when they are covered up. In order to heal my cut, the wound needed to be fully exposed to the air – even though it was painful. It’s the same in our lives. Whenever we are facing a difficult time or we are struggling with a certain sin, or there’s something that’s tough, hiding it won’t help. We need to face things head on. We need to go to God and work through our problems. We need accountability partners. We need to be real, authentic and genuine in our faults, our struggles, and our hurts. Authenticity breeds relationship and freedom. It’s only once we are open that we can truly heal and help others to heal.