Time, Wounds, & Healing

randomlychad  —  October 15, 2013 — 13 Comments
'India - Chennai - Inspirational wall slogans 06' photo (c) 2009, McKay Savage - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There is an adage which states “time heals all wounds.” Problem is, it’s simply not true. The mere passage of time itself does nothing to heal hurts. Cuts and scrapes scab over, crust, and fade into scars.

But time did nothing to heal. Time is simply the yardstick by which we measure the progress of the healing abilities built by God into our magnificent bodies. Our bodies, once wounded, did what they are supposed to do: heal.

Would that it were the same for wounds of the soul. For the hurts that are mental, emotional, and spiritual in nature. Unfortunately, these wounds do nothing to heal themselves. Like the body, when it is too injured to heal itself, something more is required. For a wound which is too deep or penetrating for the natural healing abilities to go  work on, this may mean surgery.

A wound made for the express purpose of healing another hurt.

In the case of hurts not physical in nature, this means emotional, mental, or spiritual surgery under the guidance of God through skilled practitioner of those fields. What it takes is courage. Courage, and vulnerability, to plunge into those wounded placed in our souls.
We often don’t want to go there, back into those wounded places, those tender spots. Yet we wonder why the healing we desperately crave isn’t forthcoming. It’s because, through sheer avoidance, we hold onto those hurts, nursing them.

Using them as walls around our hearts.

Thing is, if we are His, He will find ways to take us back to those places. Because God is faithful parent, He loves is enough to not leave us as we are. We just have to willing, and vulnerable, enough to do the work.

It isn’t time, though it may possibly bring the perspective of distance, that heals. In fact, wounds left untreated often fester. And it is these wounds which we hide, hold onto, or otherwise deny that do fester. Not into boils, sores, or pustules, but rather the gangrene of the soul: bitterness, unforgiveness, and other toxic maladies… leaving us with a kind of Leprosy of of the heart: callous, unfeeling, rotten, and cold.

It is time+work+willingness to confront the unpleasantness which lies within which=healing. Like our bodies sometimes need surgery, even more often do our souls.

What do you think? Share in the comments below.




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • time may dull/numb the pain. we may learn to “live” with the pain. but it certainly does not heal it outright. that’s jesus’ domain. good words, as always, my friend. may you delve deep and wrestle with the hurts.

    • Good points! And thanks so much for your encouragement and friendship.

  • I agree. You would think the passage of time would make things easier in my community, but when I see certain people from my former church, it all boils up. Then I’ve got troubles.

    • Yep, unfortunately, Larry--that’s all too often the case. A person, a smell, a place--all bring up memories. All why we need Jesus for our mess.

  • Chad, I think you’re right. I definitely have some wounds that require more effort on my part in order to bring real healing. And though it may be unpleasant to deal with, I can see how confronting them could bring closure to the pain left by unaddressed hurts.

    • If I am right, Jon, it’s due not to wisdom, but rather experience. The experience of carrying pain I need to lay down.

      Thanks for faithfully reading.

  • troy mc laughlin

    Thanks for reminding us that we can’t, time can’t heal our souls. It’s only God alone who can. But my part is my willingness to go under the “knife” of His love and allow him to do the work. Thanks Chad great post.

    • My pleasure, Troy. It’s not something that’s easy by any stretch, but I’d say it’s ultimately worth it.

      And like most folks, I’m learning this the hard way.

      • troy mc laughlin

        I think we all learn the hard way. We are all in need of God’s healing. I’m so glad that dispite who we are He still loves us and is patient with us.

  • Much that resonates with me here, Chad. Time can actually cause wounds to fester and scars that never fade. It may dull our senses and memory a little but it doesn’t take much for the wound to re-open and hurt us anew. As one who is still working on overcoming a painful past by the grace of God, I owe all the healing I’ve experienced to His grace alone. God reveals what needs dealing with and usually asks us co-operate with Him in the healing process by allowing the pain to come to the surface, brought into the Light and surrendered to Him. Great post!

    • Yes, indeed--it needs to come to the light. Because once done, the enemy cannot then use that particular pain against us again.


  • Chad,
    I loved this post. I really cringe when people quote the lie that “Time heals all wounds.” I guess it’s a matter of asking them what their definition of “heal,” means.

    I have heard doctors say that sometimes a scar tissue can create a bigger problem than the initial one.

    I believe some wounds take a long time because they have those layers. Forgiveness is not a one time thing. And sometimes instead of dealing with it still again when the pain surfaces, we just push it down. And later, it springs into our lives or makes its way through our seething words. Thanks for your post.

    • Thank-you, Anne.

      What you say is true--those things have a way of coming back. I’m learning that forgiveness isn’t so much for the one who hurt me as it is for me.
      And that it’s a lifelong process.

      Thanks so much for reading!