The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Psalms 28:7

Bella, our yellow lab, recently discovered there was life outside the confines of our yard. In her quest for adventure, she was hit by a car. We had no idea when or where it happened, but somehow she managed to drag herself up our long driveway. She laid her battered body on the welcome mat and waited for us to come home and find her there on the porch. She knew, if she could just get home, someone who cared for her would be there to see to her needs. There were few noticeable injuries, but it was apparent she suffered from injuries that were not outwardly visible.

Often we find ourselves battered by the trials of life. Some trials offer physical injuries or conditions that can be seen and cared for by friends, family, and professionals, but many times our injuries are emotional and can not be seen by others because they are hidden well by pride or fear. Pain caused by drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies, unfaithful spouses, and many other wounds often leave us finding it difficult to get through normal daily activities. Sin leads us outside the boundaries of God’s will, and we find ourselves battered by the consequences. Because sin affects relationships, we may find ourselves bruised by the sin of others as well.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil does not care if he leaves evidence of his destruction for all to see or if he destroys us from the inside out. There are so many burdens that we feel we must carry alone because we fear judgment from others or we worry about the appearance of not having it all together. We work so hard to portray the image of being perfect that we often pour salt on our own wounds.

Consider the lengths to which you have gone just to keep others from discovering a sin of your own or that of a loved one. Now consider the relief felt when sharing with a friend or turning it all over to God. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Those who truly love us will always be there to support and tend to our needs, but they can not heal as our heavenly Father can. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We know in our hearts that others can help us through trials, but it is often very difficult to open up and share our deepest pains and struggles. God is always there willing to forgive those sins that leave us bruised and battered. He is also there to heal wounds left by the sins of others.

What physical or emotional hit have you taken?

What is preventing you from seeking the help that God and others can offer?

Our dog, Bella, suffered injuries that took weeks to heal. We did everything humanly possible to make her comfortable and nurse her back to health, but we couldn’t take away the pain. Although friends and loved ones are willing, they cannot provide the quality of care that God does. When we are injured and hurting, whether from visible injuries or internal sufferings, we can head to the porch where God will always be ready and waiting to help make us strong again.

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