I am sure we all have heard the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” But does time really heal? Does the Bible actually say that time heals all wounds?
If Time Healed All Wounds, Adults Would Be More Joyful than Children
Whatever has the power to bring you great happiness also has the power to bring you incredible sorrow. Whether a marriage, a relationship with a friend, or being a member of a church, to open yourself up to the possibility of joy is to open yourself up to the possibility of disappointment.
Have you noticed that as time goes by and you grow up, your expectation for fulfillment in life has gone down? Smart parents know not to tell their little children too many days in advance if they are going somewhere fun because they know the child will be too excited to function normally. When you are an adult, you don’t have this problem.
If a mom told her kids they were going to a water park next week, and the kids bugged her about it until it was time to go, this would be normal kid behavior. Imagine, though if a wife told her husband she has planned a date night for them next week, and then he pestered her about it all week, “Is it date night yet? Is it date night yet?” Adults just don’t do that because, often times, the older you get the more you lose that innocent, profound expectation for a joyful life.
Why? It could be that we have simply matured and experienced enough of life we know what to expect and how to control our emotions better. But on a deeper level, especially when it comes to our relationships with others, many of us have stopped expecting much because we are guarded from past let downs. And then we have been told by others that when we get hurt time is the great healer. If you are hurting from a breakup or a falling-out with a friend, simply let more time go by and the pain will begin to subsist . . . so we are told.
But does the Bible really say that time is a healer of all wounds?
Time Buries Our Hurt, Time Alone Does Not Heal Our Wounds
It’s true that time will begin to deaden the pain. However, time doesn’t heal anything. Time buries our hurts, numbs our senses, but the Bible does not say that time alone solves anything. Through time people’s pain softens but so does the ability to feel joy, or anything else for that matter. For a perfect example of this, simply observe the stark contrast in openness to meaningful relationships between someone who has not yet been burned compared to someone who has. Teen “puppy love” moves so much faster than adult dating because teens have not yet been hurt as much as adults.
We must face the facts that time is not the great healer, Jesus Christ is. If you have the hope to be healed from some wound, to have this hope deferred for any period of time makes your heart sick. But to have this longing fulfilled in Christ is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12).
It Takes Time for Christ to Heal Us, but Christ and Not Time Heals All Wounds
The woman Jesus healed in Luke 8 bled for 12 years, in Mark 4 the storm just kept getting worse and worse until the disciples called out to Jesus, and the man he healed in John 9 was blind his entire life. All of these situations had time enough to see if time alone could actually heal and saved. Healing didn’t happen until Jesus showed up.
According to the Bible, time alone heals nothing. Jesus calls us to himself to be healed, but we must respond and be an active participant in the healing process. Notice in all of Jesus’ healing miracles he lets the people in need play a role. He sometimes waits for them to ask for healing, or he sometimes gives them a set of instruction to follow like the blind man in John 9 who he told to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The point is this: Pain is buried through time but healed through following Jesus.
I don’t know what he may ask you to do to participate in your healing. He may be calling you to forgive someone, to ask for forgiveness, to spend prayerful time in his healing presence, to let go of something that is an idol, to trust that he really does care about you – whatever he may be calling you to do, don’t let your healing be deferred by time which will make your heart sick.
As the song “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” puts so clearly:
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Time is not the great healer. Nothing but Jesus truly heals all wounds.