It was late Friday afternoon and I was quickly trying to answer some questions about a book that my staff and I are reading together. I zipped through the first two questions and figured I could get through the remaining five questions in the ten minutes remaining in the work day. Did I mention that a friend of mine wrote these questions? Knowing this wise and godly woman, I should have been prepared that one of her questions would trip me up! 🙂
If transformation is the Lord’s goal for us, what specific transformation does He intend for you in and through your wounding?
Ah! What a loaded question! I knew full well I wasn’t going to be able to answer this one quickly, so I skipped it. 🙂 So now here I sit over 24 hours later, in my comfy clothes after working on projects all day, and I still haven’t answered this question.
I don’t want to think about wounding being transformative. I don’t want to think about wounds. But then I come back to the realization that I live in a broken world where wounds are a very real thing. And my own wounds cannot be ignored.
As I pondered the above question, Ezekiel 36 and Isaiah 61 came to mind.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:26-28
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress in stead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning. The garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61: 1-3
When I’m struggling with my own hurts or brokenness, the Lord often reminds me of these passages. Such heartache and hurt is evident in both of these passages, but also such love and transformation. What gifts are given through the transformation! I can’t become an “Oak of Righteousness” overnight. I can’t have a new heart overnight. But today, I can take one step through the hurt towards the transformation the Lord desires for me.