Don’t scratch that!
Did your Mom ever say that to you? You know what I’m talking about, right? You had a boo boo and then’s God’s amazing self-healing system installed in your DNA kicked in and a scab formed to protect that open wound from germs that could infect it. All went well but then just before everything was healed all the way that scab started to fee itchy. You just couldn’t help yourself so you scratched and the next thing you know your bleeding again. Man, so close. If you’d only listened to your Mom but now you’ve got to start all over. Mom! I need a bandaid! Been there, done that.
Allowing emotional wounds to heal
As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better about those sort of things. I have a little more self-control and that coupled with past failures helps me keep my fingernails away from that almost healed wound. Recently I was faced with a similar situation. This time though it wasn’t a physical wound it was an emotional one. Emotional wounds may not be as visible but they’re painful none the less. Probably even more painful and they usually take much longer to heal. Unfortunately, if you’re not proactive, some of these wounds may never really heal. I have a feeling you may be wondering how to be proactive when it comes to emotional hurts. By proactive, I mean getting the healing process started as soon as possible…the proverbial bandaid.
The forgiveness bandaid
Forgiveness is the first step in making sure a wound to your heart heals. If you don’t get that bandage on there ASAP you run a big risk that something is going to get in there and infect things and make it that much harder to heal. Anger, bitterness and even hate love to seek out open wounds and jump in there and wreak havoc. When those things get in they are really hard to get out. They sometimes even can spread to other relatively healthy areas if you’re not careful. Forgiveness is the only way to make sure that you don’t allow those things to get you. The Bible tells us we MUST forgive. God knows how dangerous it is, to quote Mater from the movie Cars, “to not to”. When we don’t forgive, God even says He won’t forgive us. Seriously, It’s in the Bible. Wow, that forgiveness thing must be really important. That’s why it’s the first thing you need to do when you’ve been hurt. Easier said than done, right? But it’s imperative. Wanna heal? Then forgive. Ask God to help you. He’s really good at this forgiveness thing. Remember what He’s forgiven you for. Yep, I went there. I went there because I know that’s what I have to do sometimes when I’m struggling with forgiving someone who has hurt me. I have to go back to the cross and reflect on God’s forgiveness of all the things that I’ve done wrong to Him and to others. It helps me open that Forgiveness Bandaid wrapper and slap it on that boo boo as soon as possible.
But it’s itchy
Back to the original thing that got me started on this weird analogy about letting wounds heal. I was hurt and I had to forgive in order for the healing to begin. I’m way overly simplifying that process to save time and hopefully keep you with me for just a little bit longer. Anyway, it seemed like the healing was going well and then I had to be around the people and at the place where I was hurt, you guessed it, that scab started itching. It didn’t take long for those old feelings to begin to surface. It wasn’t near as intense but it was definitely there. I could feel those negative thoughts begin to creep in and it was oh so tempting to scratch that scab away and wallow in those old feelings. That’s when God gave me this strange scab analogy. It’s almost like He said “David Manley, it’s just an itch. Leave it alone.” Just like my Momma used to say. Wanna know what I did?
Reapply when necessary
I grabbed me another one of those forgiveness bandaids and put it on top of that scab. I wanted to make sure I didn’t scratch it and open that wound up again. Fortunately for me I have my wife to help when things like that happen. I can talk to her about the itch and that helps me to not scratch at it. In this situation she had the same wound, only hers was even deeper. I felt like if she’s not scratching then I”m not going to. I also asked God for help too. I’m not stupid. After all He is the Forgiveness Guy. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, Jesus is your man. Pray to Him and ask for help and He is faithful to do just that. You still have to do your part. Don’t scratch!
A little less itchy,