[Column] Heal your discouragements and wounds

Satan held an auction one day. He gathered bidders for his merchandise, which included anxiety, fear, lust, sorrow, pride, and other negative emotions. On the farthest corner of his display stand, however, there was an item with a worn out tag that read “not for sale.” When asked why it was not for sale, Satan replied, “I have additional stock of each item on sale but not this one. This is the most valuable item I can’t do without. Only when it enters man’s heart, I can do my job. It is called discouragement.” Man is a being possessed of body and spirit. Ensnared by Satan’s deception, he is wounded and discouraged in life. Without overcoming discouragement and hurts, we cannot triumph in life. Because discouragement and anxiety shatter hearts, the faithful must safeguard their thoughts and hearts against desolation.

340m/sec, the speed of sound, was once considered fastest. Then McDonnell Douglas under the leadership of its CEO Walter Burke created the F-15, a supersonic aircraft. It was also discovered later that light travels about 186,000 miles per second or circles around the earth seven times. What was even more amazing was a later discovery of the particle called tachyon, which travels faster than light. Even so, a tachyon cannot exceed the speed of human thought, which can circle around the earth 20-30 times a second. A report by the American Medical Association reveals that thinking does not require physical energy. Yet, thinking can generate substantial causes and effects. As Blaise Pascal said, “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.” He who harbors weak thoughts is weak; he who has diseased thoughts is diseased; he whose thoughts are defeating is a failure. Even amidst discouragement and hurts, we Christians must look to God and hold onto His Word. Psalm 147:3 reads, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” God heals us of diseased hearts and wounds. The problem lies not in our circumstances but in our minds and faith.

Known as a “stone poet” in Korea, Jin Shik Park is a poet who has been suffering from hyperparathyroidism related disc calcification since the age of seven. At the age of 13, his joints gradually exhibited the signs of calcification, his body began swelling as a result of pressure ulcers, and his skin started bleeding due to the inside out penetration of calcified stones into the skin. By the time he reached 25, his heart and lungs began calcifying causing 30% of his entire body to be immobile. His body was calcified to the point where a metal rod was bent while his mother scratched him with it. Although he thought about suicide, he never gave in. Instead, he earnestly searched for the meaning of his life with hope and a positive outlook. He undertook his studies of English, Chinese character writing, poetry, various literatures, and computer. Two years after his life changing decision, Park painstakingly typed on the keyboard using a pencil and published his first book Desolation is Another Name for Hope. He drew the water of hope from the well of d esolation. In the preface, he writes:

If there is anyone who hast lost all hopes, read my story and be hopeful. I believe just to be able to dream is a happy life. Regardless of however harsh circumstances you are in, do not abandon your dream so long as you have breath. And don’t cry. Who would speak of desolation if a person who cannot even wipe his own tears speaks of hope? Hope in the midst of desolation is the beginning of greatness. There still is hope. Hopelessness is hope in disguise. The fabric of life requires not only the warp threads in pleasant, primary colors but also the weft threads in arduous, black color. If you embrace life while disregarding despondency, the path to the triumph of human spirit will present itself.

Be of good courage. We have as our hope God and His Word. Let us garner dreams and hope in God. Genghis Khan, the world’s greatest conqueror and founder of the Mongol Empire, was a self-made man. Fatherless, exiled from his tribe, and illiterate, he conquered most of Eurasia with his military prowess as well as unparalleled leadership. His warfare is best described in one of the quotes attributed to him: “A man’s greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping of those who cherished them.” In spite of his harsh circumstance in the beginning, he did not place the blame on others or his surroundings. Instead, he attributed his success to “divine” intervention when he said, “With Heaven’s aid I have conquered for you (followers) a huge empire.”

 Even Genghis Khan who had no knowledge of God safeguarded his mind and cultivated his life without blaming others or the world. Should we, the believers in the Almighty Creator, blame the world and our surroundings? Let us reflect on 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

We must hold onto the Word of promise our Lord gives us: “He (God) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Only the Lord is the physician of our souls. As surgeons perform surgery and sew up wounds, our Lord heals and binds our diseased minds and souls. Let us lift unto Him our hurts and wounds and confess Him as our healer and hope. Let us praise Jehovah Rapha.

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