I’ve watched enough medical drama’s to know that having a punctured lung is a really bad thing. Okay, that’s a complete understatement I realize, but it’s true. Our lung tissue is so delicate that God created a cage of ribs to protect it. But if something makes it through that cage and the lung is punctured, that person is in immediate and very real danger of dying. You must seek medical attention quickly so that they can avert tragedy and begin the healing process.
According to WebMD, here’s a very basic answer as to how a lung can be injured: “There are two main types of lung injuries: direct and indirect. Direct lung injuries are caused by infections, chemicals, and trauma that directly affect the lung. An indirect lung injury is caused by another condition elsewhere in the body. A lung injury can cause a collapsed lung or develop into acute respiratory distress syndrome — two potentially life-threatening conditions.”
Now that we have a medical definition of a punctured lung, I hope you are still with me here…let’s look at the similarities of that physical issue compared to have punctured faith.
Similarly, your faith can be punctured by indirect and direct injury. A direct injury could look like losing a loved one, paying attention to deceitful thoughts from the enemy, or being hurt by someone we trusted (or even someone that we didn’t even know). Indirectly, your faith could be punctured by a trauma that was in your past but was never dealt with. So when it rears its ugly head, you feel like you have “no idea where that came from” and you are forced to deal with the trauma many years (or decades) later.
As physical injury to our lungs creates a life-threatening condition, so too comes a threat to our spiritual well-being when our faith has been punctured. Either way, we must act immediately! Many times, it takes someone else taking a closer look at our life to see that we are about to succumb to the distress our body is going through, in order to save us.
Faith distress looks different for everyone. Every single person on this planet is going through something. No one is exempt from pain, grief, sadness, anger, desolation, vulnerability, sorrow, despair, fear, or basic concern. BUT….we do have the Great Healer as our Heavenly Father, and He can take away those issues when we rest in Him. Not an easy task at all, but with His strength and His assistance, we CAN do it!
What happens when we decide to hold onto those attitudes? They are directly and indirectly poking holes in our faith which makes it harder to breathe in the life that God has for us. There have only been a handful of times in my life that I felt so disheartened, so desperate, so distraught, that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was going to pass out or have a heart attack. I felt like the world was spinning out of control and gravity was slipping out from under me. I wanted the pain to stop. I didn’t want to think. I didn’t want to try and fix anything. That is a frightening place to be and I thank the Lord for the people in my life who pulled me out of those potentially tragic situations.
Thankfully, our spiritual lungs are much tougher than our physical lungs. I am grateful that in all of God’s goodness and grace, He is the patient Physician who attends us along our path to recovery. He brings us friends to encourage us, His Holy Word to strengthen us, and many times uses seemingly random interactions with strangers to call out to us that He sees us. His goal is to make us whole again ~ to bring restoration to our punctured faith.
Today, my heart is heavy with the sadness I feel for one of my daughters’ friends who lost their mother to a long illness this morning. In the midst of her young adulthood, about to graduate from college, she has to now mourn the loss of her mom. This is too young for her to mourn. And at this time in her life? So many things do not make sense to me, so this is EXACTLY when I have to trust that even in this, God has a mighty plan for this sweet young woman’s life. I have to believe that He sees her and that He will carry her through the distress and extreme sadness of this time in her life.
It is God’s strength and being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that we can sustain injuries, and come out healed on the other side.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Remember, this isn’t a “rub the magic lamp and the genie will grant us our wishes” kind of deal. The life that the Lord intends for us to live, is absolutely far greater than anything we can imagine. Humbly we come through tragedy, with a fresh dependence on the Lord to give us what we need.
Notice that it does not say that we have confidence in our self to come boldly to the throne of God in our time of need ~ or in our time of rest! Our boldness come through our faith in the LORD.
How do we know that the Lord will hear us when we call on Him? Or when He comes alongside us to repair that punctured faith? Right here in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 states the answer, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” As believers, we are called a Child of God. We have been adopted into the Royal Priesthood of our Heavenly Father. He calls us His own and what He promises, He will fulfill.
Life is not exempt from hardship. God’s Word promises that as well. But He ALWAYS provides a way of escape! A way out of the dark shadows of fear and doubt.
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”