A person once asked Martyn Lloyd-Jones,
“What does a person look like who has truly met God?”
His response was, “He walks with a limp.”
How often we avoid the thought that the God of Heaven, a loving Father, would wound us so deeply. But His wounds, like those of His Son, are meant for healing. As a mentor of mine is fond of saying, “The way of the Cross…is the way of the Cross.” There is no escaping temporal pain for the follower of Christ. In fact, as one pursuing the crucified Messiah, I must not only expect and accept the daily death to myself, but I must also embrace it.
The problem I run into most often is simple: the sinful part of me likes himself. My flesh does not “go gentle into that good night,” but remains combative, haughty and terribly manipulative. In addition to that, he will not, despite all of my best intentions and most-noble efforts, stay dead, thus I must die to myself daily (Luke 9:23).
Thankfully (such an odd word in this context), yes, thankfully God wounds us to point out areas of needed healing to us. As imperfect, limping people, we are humbled. We are lowered. We are much more relatable to others. We are teachable, gentle and reverent. Not beaten down, mind you, but set free.
Our lack of connection with the God is not because of our brokenness, but for the lack of being broken.
The Great Physician and the Grand Breaker are one in the same.
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried,
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”
“These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
– John Newton
“Whom God would use greatly He will hurt deeply.” – A.W. Tozer