He was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Through tears, she told me that her marriage was over. Her husband filed for divorce and the shock and grief shattered her. “Wounds are contagious”, she said. Heartbroken, I prayed for her and looked for ways to minister to her, and my mind revisited that phrase over and over: Wounds are contagious.
How true, I realized. She was, of course, speaking of the wounds of the heart and spirit. Harsh words, lingering silences, critical looks, apathetic responses, unexplained absences. These are wounds that fester and spread infectious criticisms, complaints and the cancer of bitterness. They eat away joy and hope and peace, destroying life. She was not only a victim, but a perpetrator. Psalm 38:5: My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.
What is the remedy for such contagion? What medicine can prevent infection or the spread of it? There is only one source, one Healer, and He is God our Father, Jehovah Rophe. Psalm 147: 3 says, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Taking our hurts and injuries to Jesus gives Him permission to not only be a balm in our affliction, but to teach us how to respond, how to think, how to forgive, how to be healed. It stops the contagion before it begins.
The melody of an old African-American spiritual rings through my mind when I consider the soothing of His Spirit: “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole, there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.” Psalm 94:19 promises: When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Lord be our Healer, our Balm, our Consolation. By your wounds, we are healed.