I was watching a cricket match on television, and the pressure was on for the batting side to get more runs, as it was a one-day international. The bowlers were using all their skills and pace to out-wit the batsmen, who were determined to hit the ball far and wide. As I watched, one batsmen moved forward to make contact with a particularly fast delivery, when the ball bounced up and hit him on the side of the neck. He was momentarily floored, but soon got up, said to his colleague that he was OK and faced the next ball. He was immediately bowled out! Until that time he’d been doing well, scoring runs and all looked good, but that incident caused him to lose concentration and he was out. Perhaps he didn’t realise that he had had a bit of shock and trauma, and needed some healing.
There are many times in our lives when we suffer from some sort of event which has an effect not just on our physical self but also on the inner being. God’s heart, though, is that people are made whole in body, soul and spirit. Part of the problem is that we often don’t recognise we’re damaged.
As we look through the Scriptures, we see that God’s concern is for people who’ve suffered inner damage to receive restoration in the same way as those with visible or physical damage. ‘He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds’, says Psalm 147. King David is a prime example of someone who’d been damaged through sin and needed God’s healing touch, as we see particularly in Psalm 51. Jesus often referred to the inner condition of those He healed, sometimes caused through personal sin, and sometimes through the direct work of the enemy. The healing of the woman bent double (in Luke 13) is another example for us.
It’s always amazing on our courses when guests who come for prayer say that God’s revealed some inner damage that may have occurred many years before, and which they were totally unaware of until that time. They are then able to receive prayer for God’s healing on the inside, and the outside.
I don’t expect that many of us will receive damage from cricket balls, but all of us are vulnerable to enemy attack and inner damage to soul and spirit. Instead of living in the unreality of denial – “I’m fine” - maybe it’s time to acknowledge our damage, and ask God to bind up our wounds and heal them.
Prayer: Father God, we thank You that You’re concerned for the whole person, and You care about our inner damage. Please forgive us when we deny that we’re wounded and try to carry on in our own strength. Pour Your healing power into our lives, please, and set us free from the effect of our wounds. We pray in the name of Jesus the Healer. Amen.
"He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3, NIV
John Berry has recently stepped down from the full time team at Ellel Glyndley Manor, where he has been involved for almost seven years, before which he pastored UK Baptist churches for 30 years. He continues on the Associate Ministry and Teaching teams at Glyndley Manor, where his wife Jennie continues on team. They have been married for nearly 43 years and have seven grandchildren. John is also an elder in a local church.
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