Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stars and Sorrows

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.  He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”  (Psalm 147:3,4)

What a heart-stopping pair of verses! Each of them contains a description of God that is beyond understanding. To think that God can have a name and number for every one of His stars—stars that mobs of astronomers and astrophysicists have only begun to discover!  Then, to think that while the stars are the work of His fingers (Psalm 8:3), so is the care of my wounds—or as the marginal reading says, “sorrows.”

I’m a nurse. I know a bit about binding wounds. It’s a smelly, unlovely sort of job, often involving a lot of pus and blood. A wound is everything that ought not to be—skin that is open where it should be closed, blood leaking out where it should be sealed off, organisms living in an environment that should be sterile. Frequently, the wound is related to some miscalculation, lack of coordination or just plain stupidity (sorry!) on the part of the wounded.  And often, the wound is so painful that the patient doesn’t feel inclined to thank the one who binds it.

Try to grasp the picture.  God, inhabiting eternity, the One whom the heaven of heavens can’t contain, accompanied by millions of angels and surveying his vast creation, knowing the most distant star as intimately as the nearest, is aware of my wound.  He knows about the discouraging news, the strangling loneliness, the pain of rejection. And He gets down, as it were, on His knees, soap and water in hand, peels away the blood encrusted human attempt to stop the bleeding, and begins, gently, patiently, steadily, to cleanse and soothe.  His loving attention is not on the millions of whirling galaxies, but on the fact that I have a sorrow, a wound that needs care.

Only One who was wounded Himself, could have such a gentle touch. Only a hand with nail-scars could know so well how to bring relief. Only One who was pierced through for my sins (Isaiah 53:5), could consider my name more precious than those of all the stars.

I cannot heal my wounds. But I know I can trust them to Him.