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The Bloodletting

March 5, 2008

I have a friend who recently “committed a sin” that she feels really bad about. And she has been sweet enough to listen to me as I offer her advice. A few weeks ago we were talking about the pain the situation has been causing her.

And it got me to thinking about pain. There are a lot of situations that cause us pain in our lives. Sin, death, loss, skinned knees – stuff like that. Sometimes when we are living in these painful situations we are presented with emotional options. Sometimes the option is: we can feel the pain or we can deny the pain.

When it comes to emotional pain, I guess I am of the opinion that just feeling the pain and going through it is the way to go. And I think you can usually come out clean on the other side of such pain. This is some of what I said to my friend recently:

The thing about these situations is that they hurt. And they are supposed to hurt. When we sin, we need to mourn our sins. Likewise, when we lose something we often need to mourn that loss. Otherwise, if you act like it’s no big deal your heart can get hard.

I gotta tell you, it’s better to just bleed than to let your heart get hard. Pharaoh hardened his heart in Exodus and as a result God just about wiped out his entire kingdom. So, yeah a hard heart is bad. Plus, if it’s a sin issue and you don’t let yourself hurt about it you’re likely to commit the sin again.

Again, Pharaoh. He hardened his heart initially and after that it just got harder and harder and harder – until his own son died.

I realize it’s hard to see that the bleeding might be good for you. But you know how when you get a cut it starts to bleed. Well, the first thing the blood does is clean the wound. Then the blood starts to clot and it makes a scab. Okay scabs are gross, but they also protect the wound so that it can heal. So it hurts to bleed, but it’s important.

Now, sometimes you get cut really deep or hit an artery. Then every time your heart pumps the blood just gushes. In those situations you need to control the bleeding. And when you lose a lot of blood you often need a transfusion. Emotionally this stuff happens too.

Some pain just cuts so deep that you need to learn to control your own bleeding and let others pour into you. What I mean is, you may need some help. You might need to find some people who can pour into you emotionally and spiritually. Don’t go it alone.

Now, for those of you who know I’m a Christian I really think it goes without saying that you have to go to God and talk to him when you experience this type of pain. (Of course, I have been in painful situations and not thought to talk to the big guy until I was really gushing.) For the rest of you, who maybe don’t think about God, that’s something extra to consider.

Prayer can ease pain, it can even give the pain perspective and meaning. You might even be able to figure out that age-old question, “Why me.” Heck, if anyone knows the answer to that question it’s God.

For my lady currently in pain, just remember, if you have to clean that wound you can bleed on me. And if you need a transfusion I’m a universal donor and I’ve got love waiting for you always.

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