Friday, May 21, 2010


Is there an invisible and unspoken rule out there?  Don't bump me?  The truth seems to be that few will stick around long if feelings get hurt.  Oh, we'll survive an offense or two. 

This kingdom life we promote and engage has a very strange twist.  Suffering is of the essence.  Take the cross for example.  No.  Just take the cross.  Is not Isaiah 53 all about the Injured Servant?

I came to town in 1977.  One of the things my elders harped at me most was about how thin-skinned I was.  Not surprisingly....that hurt my feelings.  I didn't like it.  I don't like suffering to this day; but I've learned its monumental, often unnoticed, value.

Offense is a vital part of the Lord's way.  It is Him.  Past or present, evaluate any of the good shepherds among us and you'll always find the lineage of suffering throughout their years.  Some want to lead from book knowledge; others from simple ego.  But real leaders are the highly pained ones? 

Why is that?  Pain identifies and sympathizes with the pained.  And guess what?  God is ramping up His glorious efforts to reach a pained world. 

The Injured Servant called us to follow him.  We cannot spend our days pouting (as I did), getting even (as I tried), or running (as I wanted to).  We must use pain as one of our great and beneficial instructors.  I know of no greater teacher.  The root word for endurance is to speak.

In nearly every Bible text using the word purpose the context will be one of suffering.  Injury insists it is the style of the believer.  We must not run from.....but to the cross-likeness of His personal ministry.

Recall Peter impulsively urging Jesus to rescind his comment about dying?  Jesus' response was abrupt, Get behind me Satan.  Very harsh...meaningful...important words.  So listen to the embarrassed one, the injured one named Peter when in his first book he wrote,

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

The only way to bring healing to a people is to suffer; leaders' wounds heal others.  Injury's insistent way is that all leaders' effectiveness is directly tied to their willingness to suffer in the midst of their ministry. 

This IS the nature of the Wounded Healer.

1 comment:

Stoogelover said...

You really should write a book some day! :)