We have all heard the phrase ” internal bleeding”. I have known people to suffer from internal bleeding as a result of an accident, a fall, or a car crash. I am no medical professional, but I think it is normally caused by trauma. The tricky thing about internal bleeding is that it can be so general. Many times the source of the bleeding is unknown. When you can’t find the source, it can be incredibly difficult to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, people can die.

In the ministry, I meet a lot of people that suffer from internal bleeding of a different kind. It is a kind of bleeding that is caused by trauma, but can have many different causes. Just like a physical bleed, it can be mysterious and it can even take your life. These internal bleeds are bleeds of the soul. When we have been deeply injured through abandonment, past trauma, hurt, abuse, pain, disappointment, and heartbreak, our souls bleed and no one may even know.  In our struggle with being human, we have all suffered with internal bleeds of the soul. There is no escaping the pain, no immunization, no bubble to hide in.

The holidays seem to magnify the pain inside. For many of us, the holidays do not bring about times that look like a joyful, family movie, but more like a horror film. The holidays can be an incredible time of joy or a horrific time of pain, or a combination of both. Many of us have lost loved ones in the past year or many years ago and the holiday magnifies the loss to epic proportions. Marriages are falling apart, kids are leaving home, finances are depleted. We may have lost traditions or may have never even had them. We may grieve what we have lost or we may grieve what has never been.

Internal bleeding can be tricky in the soul. Many of us have great ways of looking healthy on the outside, while slowly dying on the inside. I know that Jesus Christ understood this kind of pain. How do I know? Let’s look at one example in Matthew 14. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus is beheaded ( verses 1-12) because a girl entertained the king, he pledged to give her something she wanted, and she wanted the head of John the Baptist on a platter. ( quick summary-please read it for yourself- I am not making this up). John’s disciples took his body, buried it and went and told Jesus. Jesus had to be devastated- what a senseless, horrific thing to happen to someone He loved! So, how did Jesus reply? ” When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” When our souls hurt, we want to just be left alone. We want to retreat & try to stop the bleeding. For Jesus, this respite did not last long. The people wanted him & followed by land. When Jesus saw a large crowd, ” he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”  How did Jesus deal with his soul-deep pain? He helped others. He knew the desperate need of the people because He was one of them. He felt the cries of their pain because His soul cried as well. He healed because He needed healing too.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 teaches us that, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

The secret to stopping the deepest pain of our hearts is in ministering to others that are experiencing the same pain and giving God the parts of our souls that have “bled out”. When you can’t cry another tear, or the tears just won’t come; when your despair is deep, your anger is a burning fire, when you are at the end of you, seek God. Verse 8 of 2 Corinthians explains, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

Many times we have to let the hurt part of us die so that Christ can raise us up. A heart that is fully dependent on Christ finds peace that is beyond comprehension. Many times our attempts to stop our own internal bleeding is futile, frustrating, and a big fat failure. The power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you if you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. Trust the great physician that created you to bring you back to life again.  Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” That is a promise friends. We are a blessed people to have a Savior that is familiar with our sufferings and He is an expert at healing internal bleeding.

Courtnay Aycock

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