Going Around What Hurts

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” – Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV

photo art: Raye Wortel

photo art: Raye Wortel

I spend a lot of time going around what hurts me.


I move and evade, and go way off the beaten path to ensure pain doesn’t find me. Yet the irony is when I fix my eyes on where I’m walking, trouble comes from overhead. When I look up, suffering comes from behind. When I turn to the left, I get socked from the right.


Maybe some of you feel the same too. We are weary from battle, prayer seems fruitless, and our struggles get heavier every day.


Where did our bravery go? What happened to our perseverance and passion? Why do they now look like indifference and disappointment?


There have been a thousand little steps in our lifetime that have led to this place. A thousand moments when a stinging word, a hard hand, or a shattering event has pierced us, and we’ve made a mental note – a soul note, to never let that happen again.


“I don’t want to feel that again. It’s a pain I haven’t the strength to bear. I’ve come out the other side – it’s not perfect, but it’s better than where I was. I’ll make do right here.”


But the truth is we’re not “making do”. Underneath the facade of our outward life, our hearts are broken, our spirits are bitter, and discouragement reigns.


When I was young, the neighborhood kids and I used to play kickball in the street on summer evenings. Third base was a sewer grate, and one day, as I ran around the bases and landed on third, the grate flipped up, and I fell in. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I plunged into this dark hole, scraped and bloodied from the concrete walls. I made it out fine, but I’ve spent the rest of my life walking AROUND sewer grates and manhole covers.


I don’t want to feel that fear or pain ever again.


And I haven’t. Meaning I haven’t fallen into a sewer since, but fear has manifested itself in other ways – especially in dark times where pain pulls me in, and it’ll take pain to get me out. I’m making do, but I’m not healed. I’ve kept fear out of joint because it’s easier to move around it than face it.


This is a simple illustration. We all have far deeper and significant events we’ve decided to just go around. The problem is what we’re avoiding keeps showing up. The circumstances may look different, but it’s the same ugly monster with the same frightening growl.


So how do we get better? How do we make the disjointed whole?


The words of L.B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert) say it best:


“God says, “Lift up the hands that hang down.” March straight through the flood, and behold! The waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, The Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.”


Even if it takes friends standing at your side (Exodus 17:12), lift up your hands of faith, clear your path to one vision of Christ and the victory only he offers.


Will it hurt? Likely.


Will it take time? Definitely.


Will healing come? God is fully capable of gifting freedom. The question is will we face his loving hand, and let him?


“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

2 Replies

  1. V

    Thank u for this….. Inspiring

    1. Raye Wortel

      You were on my mind when I wrote this, friend!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.