Every Thursday we’ll post something to do with relational or emotional concerns. Hope it helps.
Hard Truth: The Wound that Heals
When a racer’s vehicle needs repair, he doesn’t junk it. He pulls it over for a pit stop, and he certainly doesn’t do that because he’s finished with the vehicle. Just the opposite – he does it because he’s not finished with it! It’s a valuable car, and he has purposes in mind for it. After all, the pit stop isn’t a junk yard, but a place for repair and rebuilding.
So when God interrupts us, He pulls us over for a pit stop. If you get pulled over, then it’s because you’re still a vehicle; your Driver has eternal purposes, and He’s determined to see them fulfilled.
No one illustrates this better than King David, who had the kind of greatness we’d love to achieve and the level of failure we pray we’ll avoid. Looking at the harrowing episode in his life that included adultery and murder, you can see how the crises of truth God sent him became his painful salvation.
His adultery with Bathsheba, as chronicled in II Samuel chapters 11-12, happened after he’d reigned in Israel about twenty years. By that time, he was highly favored by God, and had a breathtaking resume of spiritual and political triumphs. Yet one night, while Israel was at war and he’d stayed behind, he was strolling on his rooftop when he spied a beautiful woman bathing. The King saw, lusted, obsessed. And the nightmare began – lines were crossed; covers ups were attempted; an innocent man was murdered in a final attempt to make the problem go away. “There”, David seems to say when it’s over. “Now let’s move on.”
Which was out of the question, of course. Read David’s description in Psalm 32 of what life was like when he refused to confess – the aching bones, the sleeplessness – and you see a man with an internal crises that’s growing more uncomfortable by the minute. Yet months went by while he kept his sin hidden, until the crises of truth went from the internal to the external, and he was confronted by the prophet Nathan : “Thou art the man.”
King David – a good man who’d done evil things in secret that were now being published openly – crumpled under the weight of the truth. The wrong he’d done, but had refused to face, was spelled out brutally and would no longer be ignored. The pain David felt, while necessary, must have been indescribable. Yet the wound Nathan inflicted was also the terrible and liberating truth.
The Crises of Truth Inflicts a Wound
The Wound is the trauma a man feels when he sees both what he’s done and the damage he’s done. It’s hard, but necessary for recovery. Because to truly recover, we need to see that, to some extent, we’ve been kidding ourselves.
That means facing things you’ve probably avoided. But when you do, you experience one of three things that are needed, in my opinion, for true repentance: You get scared, sad, or angry, all of which are emotions that will, I hope, become motivators.
David was, I think, all three. He was heartbroken over his behavior, angry with himself, and frightened of the consequences. And that powerful combination of emotions drove him to humility, prayer and necessary action. His crises of truth was not, in other words, the end. It was the beginning of repentance and restoration. God certainly didn’t send Nathan to confront him because his life was over, but because He wanted it to be better. In David: A Man of Passion and Destiny, reknowned author Chuck Swindoll puts it well:
“Why did such a major change take place in David’s life and attitude? First, because David hurt enough to admit his need.”
Shame, outrage, fear – they seem like negative emotions, but they also produce enough discomfort and energy to shake a man out of his complacency and into redemptive action. They help get him into The Game.
So today, perhaps you share David’s wound, and the painful self-awareness it brings. Then, admitting your need, your godly sorrow moves you to repentance, humility, intimacy with God and zeal for obedience and a new start.
Not bad for something that started as a wound.