From 2018: This phrase, “the walking wounded” came into my mind within the past few days, and it has stayed with me. I had some idea of what it meant, but not entirely, so I Googled it to find its meaning. And, I found these definitions:
• “People who have been injured in a battle or major accident but who are still able to walk” (Google).
• “People who are injured, especially in a psychological or spiritual way, but still functional” (Dictionary.com).
• “Injured persons who are of a relatively low priority” (wikipedia.com).
I believe what the Lord wants me to see today, or us to see, is that “the walking wounded” are defined by all three of these definitions.
The Lord Jesus led me to read 2 Corinthians 1 (Select vv. ESV).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”
All of us will face difficulties in this life, some of them fairly minor, and others of them could be quite major. Some people will seemingly face only minor troubles, while others of us may have had deeply traumatic experiences in our lives, and maybe throughout our lives, too. And, we may even be going through some very hard times right now.
Some of us, too, may have questions concerning these troublesome times, either asking why they are happening to us and/or what we are supposed to do about them, or how we are to respond to them.
Bringing it Home
As I have mentioned before, I am the spouse of a sex (lust) addict. I did not know this for a long time, with regard to how deeply this was rooted in my husband’s life, and concerning how long this had been going on, and to what extent this had taken him in his lustful pursuits. We were married eight years before I had my first glimpse of this. And, it was devastating to me then. And, that was thirty-seven years ago. So, this has been a long haul.
Prior to marrying my husband, I had come from an abusive home environment. My dad was an abuser – physically, mentally/emotionally and sexually. I was scared to death of my dad. He was the epitome of Satan to me. And, I did not find much refuge in my mom, either, for she was rather distant from me emotionally, although we had a friendly relationship.
So, when I had the first sign of the extent of my husband’s sexual addiction, it really took me back, because I saw my father in him, and that just tore me to pieces. But, no one reached out to me, although some people did know about this. But, I felt like I couldn’t really tell anyone, and that I had to keep the pain to myself, but I cried it out to God.
Then, more revelations came, and with each one my heart was stabbed. I was crushed in spirit, and I cried my pain and suffering out to the Lord. If I did try to tell anyone, they didn’t understand, and they were of no help to me. But, I was conditioned to keep it to myself and to not tell anyone, and to protect my husband’s reputation, even sometimes to the sacrifice of my own. But, I always cried it out to the Lord. Sometimes all I could say was “help!” And, my Lord always came to the rescue.
And, my husband and I are not out of the woods yet, in this area. We are still on this journey.
How to Survive
So, how did I manage all these years? And, did I always? I will say first of all that I didn’t always manage the pain of it all well, and I didn’t always run to God, but sometimes I ran from him, instead. But, he always brought me back around. All glory to God. I praise him for his marvelous grace to me!
But, when I did manage it, it was only by God’s grace, and in his strength, wisdom, and power that I was able to even get out of bed sometimes to face another day. Some days it all just felt so utterly hopeless. And, when I would get to that point of hopelessness, the Lord would remind me of all his promises in scripture, and of his amazing grace, and of his power to do the impossible, and of how very much he loved me and was there for me.
But, not only did he give me the grace to endure, and to keep pressing on, and to keep loving my sexually addicted and adulterous and abusive husband, but he showed me his heart, i.e. God’s heart in all of this. He let me see how he feels when we, his people, live in idolatry and spiritual adultery against him, and when we cheat on our relationships with him, and rob him of the love and affection that is due him, and when we go after “other lovers” of fame, fortune, entertainment, possessions, careers, etc.
So, in a way, this was God’s gift to me. I know, you may not agree with that, especially if you are in the same boat as me. But, through what I have had to suffer I have learned so much about God and his love and grace, and about his sovereignty and justice, too, and I have felt what he feels, and he has given me the passion that he has for his people. I don’t think I would have had that, had I not gone through these things, and so much more.
Through my sufferings, I have also learned compassion for those who are hurting, i.e. for the walking wounded, who are often overlooked, because their wounds are not visible to the public, or because people think we should just “suck it up” and move on, as though these things do not deeply impact us. They deeply impact God, so why wouldn’t they impact us greatly, too?
The Lord has gifted me with insight into others’ pain and suffering, so I can truly empathize with them in their pain, and he has also gifted me with much depth of understanding and wisdom in understanding this “beast,” and how it works, so that I can work through it myself, and so that I can comfort and encourage and counsel others who are going through what I have gone through. Had I not suffered as I have, I doubt that I would know that pain.
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
The “walking wounded” are not only people whose wounds do not always visibly show, and so they are overlooked or disregarded or considered a low priority, but they are those who have suffered enormously in this battle for their husbands’ lives, and for their marriages, and because they decided to stand on what is right and to fight off Satan’s evil attacks with the armor of God. So, although wounded, they are survivors! They are overcomers who have learned to put their faith, their hope, and their security in Christ.
Through all the lies, the deceptions, the betrayals, the adultery, the affairs, the pornography, the cutting remarks, the snide comments, and the temper tantrums, and all the many ways their husbands have acted out their sexual (lustful) addictions, they have learned to draw their strength from the Lord. They have learned that they cannot survive this in their own strength, and that they don’t have the courage to keep moving forward, in their own flesh.
They have learned, too, that their total dependency has to be in God, and in God alone, for he is the ONLY ONE who will never fail them. He is the only one totally trustworthy, who will never let them down. And, this strengthened them in their walks of faith, and it drew them closer to God, and through it all, God purified their hearts and made them into sweet vessels he could use for his purposes and for his glory.
For, although they are wounded, they are walking in the power and strength and wisdom of God, and God is using them to minister his love and grace into the lives of others who are wounded, too.
Not all the wounded, though, have yet learned to put their dependency totally in the Lord, so this is an encouragement here to cry out your pain to the Lord, to let him heal your wounded hearts, and then to let him make you into who he wants you to be, to be used of him in the lives of others, as you learn to rely totally on him, and not on yourselves. Then, although you still may be in this battle, you can have peace, and you can get up each day and have purpose and meaning for your life, and you can overcome in the power, strength and wisdom of the Lord, as you yield your life to HIM.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Monday, January 8, 2018, 7:23 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your word, and for what you have taught me today through it. Amen!