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Pulling the Trigger…a Scary Prospect!

pull the triggerNo, this blog is not about shooting a gun or pulling an arrow back for the first time on a crossbow! For our purposes, pulling the trigger involves inviting Christ into all areas of our lives–not just the safety zones!  Figuratively speaking, the trigger is the decision that enables Christ,  our spiritual silver bullet, to shoot into our past or current wounds and hurts.

Just like going to the rifle range, allowing Christ to enter our pain is never easily done the first time, and for many, there is usually great fear and anxiety that comes with such prospects.   It is a normal feeling to be nervous when shooting a rifle for the first time and yet there is an unusual excitement often present whenever we do something dangerous or new.  Likewise, a wounded person should have some hesitation and trepidation when entering the uncomfortable places of his or her past.  It can be a downright scary prospect for sure.  Rightfully so, as our fears often indicate how delicate and important some of these matters can truly be.  Just like a gun and arrow requires our utmost respect when handling, so does our past pain when we potentially reopen the wound and invite Christ and others to share in our own suffering.

So how does one overcome the fear?

It is a simple answer really.  You just do it!  You step out of the boat.  Like St. Peter did in the Gospel of Matthew (14:22-34) and you begin to walk on the water.  Even though you don’t know how it is possible, you somehow muster up the courage to place all your trust in Jesus.  Together, Jesus and you, can say “I can do all things in Him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13).  Yes, even you with the faith the size of a mustard seed can do this!

getting out of the boatBrothers and sisters, the formula is really that simple.  The application is much harder to do I know.  But don’t worry, we are on a journey.  God is patient and He does wait on us.

I had a friend tell me recently that his wound is not getting healed even though he has invited Christ in.  True, sometimes the wound that we think needs the most healing remains and Christ offers a different type of healing.  Perhaps Christ’s healing does not involve taking away the painful memory or removing its consequences, but giving you the grace to cope and carry the wound in a new way.  Perhaps Christ desires to redeem the wound and enable you to expose it to others for their great benefit and healing.  That’s right, the same healing that you hoped to realize for yourself is now being offered to others through you!  What a gift that would be; to be able to use our wounds for the glory of God and the sanctification of ourselves and others.

Does this sound familiar to us, an Easter people?

Why does Christ rise with his wounds?  Friends, some of that answer will always remain a mystery short of heaven, but from what I can tell from my own meditation, the answer lies somewhere in the fact that Christ desires to invite us also into His suffering.  Without the exposition of His wounds, we are not part of the story of salvation.  His suffering is His and His alone.  No, not so with our brother and friend Jesus.  Christ invites us to learn something about suffering through His own suffering just as He did with the apostle Thomas (John 20:24-29).

Believe there is a purpose and meaning to your pain.  Some of us have the blessing to discover this early in life while most of us are reluctantly slow to invite Christ into our wounds.  But make no mistake about it, none of us will learn anything about the healing that is possible until we…pull that trigger.

In Christ’s love,

Mark Houck