PTSD; June 8, 2020

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

The Bible does not back off from the reality that not all wounds are physical. The Japanese for this verse says, “He heals those whose hearts have been hit and broken,” implying a wound rather than a disease. “Modern Medicine” was slow to recognize this, but we have come around to more understanding of PTSD. In and after WWI it was just called “shell shock,” but at least it was recognized as a “wound of war.” Many men, and in recent years, women warriors too, have come back from war profoundly changed. Military veterans are understandably sensitive on this issue, and some seek to make the term, PTSD, exclusive to themselves, but the fact remains that there are many kinds of trauma, and they can all have lingering effects long after the fact. Rape and other kinds of abuse certainly come to mind here. The thing is, God knows and cares, and in Him we can have healing. It is dangerous to ignore such wounds, but at the same time they are not to be used as an excuse for destructive behavior, which is an all-too-common situation. The devil loves to turn anything into an excuse to ignore God! Often the wounded individual needs help and support in recognizing how they are wounded, so that they can open their heart to receive the healing God offers. Just as this verse speaks of “binding up their wounds,” being wrapped in God’s love is enormously healing! Sometimes we need to be visible expressions of that love.

By God’s grace I was not sent to the actual battle during my time in the Army, but I knew many who went through a lot, and at least one childhood friend lost his physical life. I ran into some others for whom that might have been the more merciful outcome. Right now I am in contact with several who are still recovering from what they experienced, though it was many years ago. Quite removed from physical battlefields, as a pastor I deal with people with all sorts of invisible wounds. It is very dangerous for me to think I have the knowledge and wisdom to heal those wounds myself, but I do know the One who can and does heal. There is a person in this church who was in severe clinical depression, and now they are the most solid, joyful believer you could hope to meet. There are others for whom I pray the same sort of healing miracle! Again, I don’t have wisdom, so I need to be totally open to the Lord to allow His grace and love to flow through me. He can heal, I can’t. He can bind up wounds, and my attempts can leave things even worse. I am to recognize the opportunities God gives me to be His agent and make full use of them, so that the works of the devil may be defeated and people healed and delivered.

Father, thank You for this timely reminder. Guide me today in the contacts, the communication that needs to be done. May Your will indeed be done in each life and situation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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