I was one face hidden in a crowd of thousands. Women were gathered to hear other women speak about their faith. One brave woman took the stage. Unashamed, she told us about her heartache that no one could see. I listened comfortably from the shadows, unaware of what would happen next.
The woman asked, “What did Jesus do with His wounds? Did He hide them?” Before I could contemplate the question, she offered her own answer, “No. He held them up for all to see”. Then she held her hand out and urged us, “Thomas, put your hand into my hand, put your hand into my side”. This was a reference to the Gospel of John when Jesus appeared to the doubting Thomas. One week prior to this, the disciples had declared, “We have seen the Lord!”, but Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (John 20:25).
I tell you this because what happened to me next in that arena might be hard for you to believe without seeing or experiencing it yourself. When the woman raised her hand up, suddenly everything changed. It was as if Jesus were standing before me asking the question. He was holding out His wounded hand to me.
See, I had a hidden heartache too. Up to that moment, I thought no one could see it. As a child, I had been molested by my own father. I had carried this burden for nearly my entire life. I had built a good life on top of it, and was determined to keep the ugly truth hidden because of what I thought it meant about me.
Jesus saw me in that crowd. He knew my heartache. He exposed the lies I had believed about myself in that one dramatic moment, through the testimony of one of His servants. This is when He claimed me as His own child, and I become a daughter: valued, loved, and healed by His glorious touch.
“Surely He took up our infirmities and carried out sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4, 5).
This week, we walk the road to Calvary with Jesus, the Man of Sorrows crushed for our sin. He carries the sin of the world, which includes our hidden heartaches. He carries the burdens we hang onto and hide. The things we believe, if exposed, would bring shame, rejection, and sneering judgment. But this is a lie. Jesus has already been despised and rejected on our behalf. Jesus bore everything for us. He bore the hidden heartaches that we think no one can see. He has canceled everything against us and opposed to us; “He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross” (Colossians 2:14, 15).
If God is for us, who can be against us? What wound are you holding onto? What injustice, sin, mistake, or regret of your past do you fear would bring rejection or judgment?
Jesus told me that day to “share my wounds”. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to say, where, to whom. In truth, it has been a struggle to walk in this calling without being concerned with what others will think of me. Today, I lay all that down at His feet and declare, “By His wounds we are healed”.
Let Jesus speak into your hidden heartache. He stands before you holding out His wounded hand.