Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. —Abraham Lincoln
Life outside the garden takes a toll on all of us. Some injuries are done to us through the careless fault of others. Some are our own brilliant doing. All come at a cost. The physical injuries and their painful disruptions, those pretty much heal up. Pretty much. Not so much when the injuries are of the spiritual kind. In the spiritual realm, as in the NFL, all men “play hurt” and, unfortunately, have learned to live with the pain. Spiritual injuries will affect a man for years and years to come. Our hearts, souls, and minds, like our bodies, carry with us the marks from lost battles, the scars and souvenirs of life’s injuries, spiritual and emotional pain that will eventually cause others pain.
Wounds to the heart work differently than wounds to the body. Arrows to the heart lodge there, and the infection is almost immediate and lasting, carrying guilt, shame, and fear from one stage of life to the next and the next when left untreated. How do we live with such pain?
We don’t. Survive, maybe; live, no.
Everyone except the enemy loses when we wound one another. And in the king stage, where men attain the zenith of their influence, we have exceptional power to keep the wounding going. It is the stage of either great opportunity or great calamity, and every man enters it limping. If our pain were physical, our doctor would want to know two things: Where does it hurt, and what is its history? Those same questions apply here. But there’s also a third question, and it’s the most important one of all: Do we try to live with the pain, or will we go to the One, the only one, who can heal us?