Summary: The Necessity of Suffering. Wounded healers only become so by the wounds suffered in their own life, while un-wounded healers have little to offer.
“Where was God when I was going through that?”
I want to talk about the bruises, wounds and scars and disappointments that we all accumulate over a lifetime and the question that we all have from time to time (or maybe most of the time)... “Where was God when I was going through that?”
1:1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord." 3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. ESV
The time period is about 793-753 B.C.
The place is the Northern Kingdom/Tribe of Israel.
The problem—Israel has walked away from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd commandments and all the others commandments have fallen with them like dominos.
When you routinely work outside the laws of God you open the door for every imaginable form of self-deception and confusion to come through it.
And that is what is going on in Israel—a moral collapse that has filled the land with self-deception.
Well, strange as it may seem, Israel is enjoying a period of increased power and influence and prosperity and both the king and the people feel quite invulnerable.
And what was Hosea’s job? To tell them that collapse and captivity are on their way. It is hard (very hard), to tell a proud people who are prospering that they are about to lose everything, but that is what Hosea was called to do
And even stranger yet as it may the Lord has directed Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea made a legally married woman of her, brought her to his home and provided for all her needs. Hosea is not her lover, he is a good and godly husband who loves her. And yet still her desire to form “profitable relationships” with other men continued unabated. There is reason to believe that Hosea’s children were born of these born out of these other relationships. See Hosea 1:2 …“Children of whoredom.”
Why would God direct Hosea in such a way as this?
We are told why. Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, says God, will be a prophetic picture (sign) of His relationship with Israel whom He often refers to as His bride, a bride that has gone whoring after other gods.
But I think there is another reason, and it is this, that from the point of his marriage to Gomer and onward, when Hosea speaks of how Israel has betrayed God’s goodness again and again by her affairs with false gods Hosea will feel every word he is speaking. He will be speaking of God’s woundedness through his own woundedness. This is very important!
God did not and does not want a spokesman who addresses His people by rote or from a repertoire of well polished clichés. When Hosea stood before Israel to speak the word of the Lord, God made sure that he (Hosea) felt every word that He (God) was saying.
The truth is it is very easy to speak in broad general terms about how bad the society, the government, or the church is when you feel little to nothing of God’s wound. You can make all kinds of sweeping observations and statements about these things and actually enjoy doing it skillfully but still feel no compassion for God’s wound.
Compassion means to be with the wounded person while they sorrow.
Pity is different than compassion.
Pity allows you to stand at a distance. At its worst pity can be quite elitist as when the wealthy decide to reach down from their world to give something to those in need. Pity (in the sense I am using the word) has no desire to be near or with the wounded person.
God made it impossible for Hosea to speak from an ivory tower of separation. Hosea was speaking about God’s pain as one standing with God in that pain. He spoke from the place of compassion.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), used the phrase wounded healer. That is a very strong and powerful phrase.
Henri Nouwen (1932–1996) wrote a widely read 1979 book entitled; The Wounded Healer.
Wounded Healer, as Jung and Nouwen used the term means that a great deal of our ability to bring healing to others is tied up in coming to grips with our own woundedness. By coming to grips with it I mean crossing the very difficult tarrain of accepting the suffering as a part of what God is using to make you complete.