It’s the unseen wounds that are often the worst

Published 9:15 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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Do you ever feel like you’re at war? As if you are taking hit after hit and wondering how much longer you can withstand this battle? You are not alone.

In last week’s devotion we looked at how we have to hold on and how the best way to hold on is surrounding ourselves with folks to hold us up as Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses in order to help God’s people win the battle they were in (Exodus 17).

Another item we must learn is to focus on the true need, not necessarily at what is obvious. Let me explain. During World War II, officials became concerned with all the bullet holes seen on returning planes. They determined the need was to reinforce the areas where all the holes were seen (mostly on the wing tips, directly center mass, and on the tail).

Statistician, Abraham Wald, a Hungarian Jewish mathematician, shocked everyone when showing them this truth. The need for concern is not where they saw the bullet holes but where they didn’t. The hole-filled planes had made it home. They survived.

Just because you see holes and feel pain doesn’t mean that is where the focus needs to be. Just like the Brodie helmets from World War I. There was a dramatic rise in field hospital admissions of severe head injury victims. The army commanders considered redoing the design until shown how the soldiers making it to the hospital had survived the shrapnel where before they would have been killed.

Often, the ones who seem to have it all together are hiding their injuries the best. The ones who are always helping others often are the ones crying inside for help of their own. The ones always appearing joy-filled are often saddest.

Our attention, however, is on the ones making it. Maybe it’s time to refocus on all around us. Maybe we need to send that random text to someone who brightens our day or whom we always see or hear about helping others and being the good needed.

You can’t continue to burn from a lamp without adding a lil’ oil every now and again. While visiting has been ceased or slowed for almost a year, try sending a card or letter to encourage someone. I can assure you, some won’t ask for help and may seem to have it all together but they are simply hoping to make it home from the series of shots they’ve been taking. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:24, NIV).”

If you’re tired and weary, seek reinforcements so we can make it home safe. #bethegood

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at