The movie “Black Hawk Down” is based on the Battle of Mogadishu, the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. In a raid in October 1993, Special Forces operatives were tasked with seizing two high-ranking advisors to a ruthless warlord. The mission was a success. After capturing the two lieutenants, U.S. troops began their return to base. Then the unthinkable happened.
One of the warlord’s henchman launched a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and shot down a Black Hawk helicopter. Two soldiers were killed and five injured in the ensuing crash, one of whom later died. Then, a second Black Hawk was shot down. Three crew members were killed and one was taken hostage.
The raid quickly turned into a rescue mission to secure and recover the crews of both helicopters. For hours, gunfire rained down on the streets. More and more U.S. soldiers were killed.
In one scene in the film, right after the second Black Hawk helicopter is shot down, Army Ranger Lt. Col. Danny R. McKnight is charged with trying to get a small convoy of Humvees back to base. As the soldiers drive through narrow and winding city streets, they are assaulted by heavy gunfire. At one point, Lt. Col. McKnight stops the convoy to take in the wounded and dead along the way. He approaches a vehicle that has just been hit with an RPG and then turns to a nearby soldier who has blood dripping down his face.
“Get in that truck and drive,” McKnight barks to the obviously wounded soldier.
“But I’m shot, Colonel,” the young man protests.
McKnight shouted in return, “Everybody’s shot! Let’s go.”
My point in sharing this story is this: You’re not the only one who’s been wounded on the battlefield of life. You are not the only person to have been lied to. You are not the only person to have been betrayed. You are not the only person to have been abandoned. You are not the only person to be left behind. And you are not the only one who is trying not to give up.
I don’t say this to minimize your pain. I say this to encourage you to keep moving forward.
Sometimes it’s even the people we have loved the most that can hurt us the most. But you still have to get in the truck and drive.
You may be dealing with a major conflict in your family. You may struggle in your marriage. You may have lost a child to cancer. When your heart is broken to such a degree that it feels beyond repair, the wounds grow deeper. And while not all wounds are fatal, if they do not heal, they can kill you.
We all have wounds that seem like they cannot be healed. But there is good news. It is never God’s will for the wound to kill us.
I’ve also found that many of us struggle with the temptation of wanting to hide our struggles. We’ve been through hell, but we do not want anyone to know. Instead, we put on a facade. We fake a smile, say the right things and hide the baggage. We want those around us to think we have the perfect life, the perfect marriage, the perfect family.
God wants to heal you from your wounds, but first you have got to let him. And before you let him, you have to admit to your brokenness.
That doesn’t mean you have to tell all of Facebook or your Twitter followers every single detail of your struggle. But you do have to surrender them to God. Ask him to transform you, to heal you, to release you from bitterness, anger, fear, depression or hopelessness. I often take comfort in the tender words of Jesus, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I am certainly not suggesting this is going to be easy. It’s a process, sometimes a long one. In our culture today we want instantaneous results. We are a microwave generation that craves quick solutions to problems. But the reality is, while God certainly does perform instantaneous deliverance, this is the exception, not the norm.
My advice is to pray and keep praying. Believe and keep believing. Forgive and keep forgiving. Talk to a therapist if it would help. Get wisdom from godly counsel. Do what it takes to heal the wound.
And here’s the interesting thing about wounds: They heal, but they leave something behind — scars.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, he showed them his scars, twice. It seems he was intentional about pointing them out.
Scars are nothing to be ashamed of. Rather, they are actually a testimony of God’s ability to heal deadly wounds. They are reminders of how bad it was at one time and how through Christ you overcame.
While it may take time, healing is possible. What has been broken can be restored.
So keep moving forward, regardless of the shots you’ve endured on the battlefield — and let your scars be a sign that God can heal even the deepest wound.
This is an adaptation from Jentezen Franklin’s bestselling book, “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt.”
Read more at Scars Are a Testimony of God’s Ability to Heal Wounds.