“There are some wounds only heaven can heal.”
I first heard these words from a friend who told this story:
“I was driving to the service for your son, Mark, and I was wailing and pleading with the Lord to give me a message, the right words to say. I couldn’t think of anything that would help. And then, as I waited at a red light, these words came to mind, “There are some wounds only heaven can heal.”
She continued, “I fear saying anything to you because death’s wounds leave permanent scars. Yet, there is hope in the promise of complete healing one day.”
At first I thought, “where is the hope in that? How can I breathe, live, waiting for heaven?” I was only 45 years old. I couldn’t imagine living a day, let alone the second half of life without our youngest child.
But her words rooted in my heart and in time my present grief grabbed on to this statement as acknowledgement that our wound was too deep to ever heal on this earth. I interpreted her message as God whispering, “Trust me with your shattered heart. You feel broken beyond repair. Know that I am holding you tightly in My grip.”
These words recognized our grief in a way that slowly simmered into hope.
As Hope Grows
My friend’s words acknowledged the bottomless abyss of sorrow created by the sudden deaths of our son and his friend. They gave me freedom to grieve, to let go of any expectation of quick relief and know that my ongoing grief was not faithless or frowned on by my God.
God’s promises of help and hope while I walked this pathway started to make sense. Ever so slowly the days of demanding that He give me back my son, my wails that I could not bear this heavy load of grief, that I could not ever function fully again without my youngest child, slowly, so slowly I experienced minutes where my broken heart surrendered with hope to the promise that one day, He would wipe away my tears. In the meantime, the promise that He catches all my tears in a bottle gave me a glimpse into His personal love for me.
Since that horrific phone call in the dark night, God has given me treasures in the darkness, riches stored in secret places, designed to help turn my heart toward Him, to remind me that He is my God, the One Who Calls me by name. (Isaiah 45:2-3). God does not leave us helpless or hopeless as we travel Heavenward with broken hearts.
Healed in Heaven
Hebrews 11 showcases the faithfulness of God in the lives of men and women who walked this path ahead of us. It shows us that there are some wounds only Heaven can heal.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own….they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Though they did not see all of God’s promises fulfilled, they continued to walk by faith. These people kept walking by faith, experiencing wounds only Heaven could heal. They died without seeing the promises fulfilled, but believing that those promises would be kept in that longed for “homeland.” Heaven.
This is a process and for most it is not “one and done.” Over twenty years later, unexpected tears and longing for what was still stop me in my tracks. The foundation for choosing to find purpose and joy in this journey is embracing the confidence that God kept the mother of all promises—when He sent His only Son, Jesus, to redeem His people. When I doubt His goodness in taking our son, Mark, I choose to remember that my perfectly good Father in Heaven, chose to send His only Son, Jesus, perfect and righteous, to take on my sin, and to conquer that sin with His death and resurrection. When I am tempted to doubt God’s love, this is the picture that keeps me walking by faith. God kept the promise He made to Adam and Eve. He so loved His people that He sent His only Son to save us.
The slow process of surrender to God’s love and His purposes may culminate in an excruciating letting go of shattered dreams, broken relationships, control over our lives, and recognizing that some promises will not be kept until we see Jesus face to face. Recognizing and embracing the character of God as perfect, perfect love, perfect goodness, perfect righteousness is the pathway that leads to this surrender.
Knowing this, frees us to live life with purpose and joy as we look forward to that moment when we step into Heaven and experience our Savior’s embrace. This truth seared its way into my heart and comforted me when I was insane with grief.
Your grief may be a wayward child, a broken marriage, a lost friendship, betrayal, abuse, broken promises, the shattered dreams of a career lost, childlessness, or miscarriage. Though these wounds go deep, each of us can find healing in Jesus that embraces the hope of total healing in Heaven and strength and courage to walk by faith on the pathway He has marked out for each of us. As we surrender to God’s purposes, we can experience Joy in the journey as we walk toward Home.
There are some wounds only heaven can heal. In the meantime we keep walking in obedience, trusting God to keep His promises, either here or There, believing He has already equipped us for the pathway He has marked out for us— trusting He will give us what we need for each second, moment, and hour.
About the Author:
Sharon W. Betters is Co-founder of MARKINC Ministries, an organization dedicated to producing resources that offer help and hope to hurting people. Sharon has authored several Bible study books, including Treasures of Encouragement and Treasures in Darkness, A Grieving Mother Shares Her Heart. Sharon’s pilgrimage includes 49 years of marriage to her pastor husband, Chuck, parenting four children and embracing the joy of fourteen grandchildren. You can connect with Sharon on her Treasures of Encouragement blog or subscribe to her online daily devotional at www.markinc.org.