Sometimes in life, something so drastic happens, you wonder if there’s any way to put back the pieces. According to Luke 4:18, Jesus came to “set at liberty them that are bruised.” In other words, He came to set you free from the life-shattering experiences that hold you back. Those bruises aren’t surface wounds, their deep. So deep that, even when they seem to be healing, any little thing brings them right back up into view again. Those bruises are caused by our sins and the sins of others, they are loss and loneliness, they are hurts, habits, and hang-ups that wound us for life… or so we think.
The secret to healing is in forgiveness. Forgiveness for you. Forgiveness through you. The way that Christ wants to set you free is through forgiveness. He wants you to know that you are forgiven and that, in Him, you can forgive anyone for anything. Psalm 142 captures David’s prayer in the most hopeless of circumstances. By no fault of his own, His life is being shattered by King Saul (the man he is supposed to replace). There is no possible way that all the pieces can be put back together… it seemed hopeless.
Without God, most everything is hopeless.
Do you remember what happened on October 2, 2006? A man carrying a 9mm, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a 30-.06 entered the West Nickel Mines School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and shot 10 Amish girls. He killed five, wounded five, then killed himself. Yet the thing that consumed the media in weeks following was not the evil of this man, but the forgiveness of the families. How could a parent forgive a person for taking the life of their beautiful girl? Only God gives that kind of healing. Only God can put back the pieces of a shattered life. The rest of the story: a few years ago, the old schoolhouse was bulldozed and another one-room schoolhouse erected in its place. The New Hope School stands as a reminder of the hope that forgiveness brings.
Too often, we hear that we are forgiven, yet we still try to life indebted and attempting to pay what we owe. That’s why (I believe) the account manager went out and demanded the $5,000 from an employee after being forgiven of the $15 million by His boss (Matt. 18:21-35). Until forgiveness really sinks in, we will still live under guilt and try to make others feel the same way!
Are You Thirsty?
In John 4, a woman with a shattered life was confronted by the Living Water. She was thirsty, He was the Drink. I love what Jesus said in verses 10 & 14 (my paraphrase): If you only knew Who I am and What I will do to you, you would ask me right now for a drink. And this drink will completely satisfy you and those who you share it with!
You are invited to drink a healing drink of water that will turn into an unending supply of healing water for others (John 7:38). Come and drink. Drink and be satisfied. Drink and be healed. Drink and share with the bruised so they may be healed too.