Have you ever been hurt? Has your heart ever been broken? Have you ever felt pain so real it felt like your insides were being ripped out, sadness so deep you were sure you would drown and never see the sunlight of happiness again?
In 1993, I started my final year of psychiatric residency. I was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and in the summer of that year my first wife and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. As the New Year approached, it was supposed to be the year of celebration, the culmination of years of hard work, the year of fulfillment and achievement. But it didn't work out that way.
On Dec. 31, 1993, my wife moved out. She told me her plan was to have friends move her things out while I was at work. So I went to work on New Year's Eve with a heavy heart. Already the new year was not looking bright, and just when I thought it was bad, it got worse.
At 11 AM my pager went off: "Call the hospital operator STAT." I was connected to an emergency room nurse from a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and immediately I could tell something was seriously wrong by the tension and hesitancy in her voice. My mind tried to race through all the possibilities, but my thinking was slow, paralyzed by my emotional pain. I never saw it coming. Her words hit me like a shot in face.
"Your father is dead."
My throat closed up. I couldn't speak. I could barely breath. It felt like someone was jabbing an ice pick through my throat. I could hear her asking, "Are you OK?" but I couldn't answer. Her voice seemed to fade away as she told me my father had suffered a heart attack, CPR was done, and several rounds of medications were given, but that he never responded.
My wife had moved out, and Dad, only 57 years old, was now dead. It was a nightmare. I didn't understand. I had been a Christian my entire life. Why was this happening? Life was not supposed to be this way. All I could do was cry.
A Choice to Heal
So I have been hurt. My heart has been broken. I have felt pain so strong that it felt like my insides were being ripped out, sadness so deep I was sure I would never see the sunlight of happiness again.
And today I can tell you that whatever your heartache, whatever your pain, whatever your discouragement, it can be healed. No matter how bad the pain, don't give up; no matter how dark the depression, don't give in; no matter how high the hellish shadows of despair, don't surrender. Because I am a walking testimony of this truth: If you put your life in Christ's hands, you can never be placed in a situation for which God has not made provision. It is God's desire to heal your wounds, mend your broken heart, remove your pain and make you whole!
Think about a physical wound. Once it has occurred, we can't undo it; we can't take it back; we don't get a redo. We have only three options: 1) treat it most effectively to bring about healing, 2) ignore it or 3) infect it.
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