Words of Divine Comfort— Octavius Winslow, 1872

“I wound and I heal.”–Deut. 32:39

It is no little comfort to the afflicted child of God to be thus divinely assured that both the wounding and the healing flow from one Hand–that Hand a Father’s. The sword that wounds–“bathed in heaven”–bears upon its point the balm that heals. Meditate awhile, my soul, upon this wondrous truth; and should you, like the stricken deer, endure your wound in solitude, the assurance that He who smites is He who heals, may rouse you from your lonely sorrow, and draw you closer to the heart of Him “by whose stripes we are healed.”

“I wound.” What majesty in these words! How worthy of Him who is the sovereign disposer of sickness and health, of life and death, from whose belt hang the keys of the grave and of Hades. To His Hand, O my soul, trace the wound which now fills you with sore pain and grief. What is the sword? Is it the visitation of bereavement–the decay of health–the loss of wealth–the fickleness of friends–the unkindness of other believers–or the taunt and cruel slanders and reproaches of the world? Rise above the sword that has pierced you, and see only the Hand that holds and controls it. “I wound.” It is a loving Father’s voice. O Lord, I lose more than half my sorrow when I hear Your voice, “It is I,” and when faith responds–“He Himself has done it.”

And whose Hand inflicts the spiritual wound? Who convinces of sin–gives the broken heart–imparts the humble, contrite spirit–and brings the soul to His feet with the prayer, “God be merciful to me the sinner.” Still the language is–“I wound.” Then, Lord, let the “sword of the Spirit” pierce me through and through, might it but penetrate the deep-seated evil of my heart, revealing to me more of my sinfulness, thus preparing me for the touch of that Hand that heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds.

“And I heal.” Blessed Lord! who can heal the wounded spirit–who can bind up the broken heart but Yourself? My wound is too fresh, my sore too tender, my sorrow too deep, for any hand but Yours to touch. Lord, Your wounds are my healing–Your blood my balm–Your soul-sorrow my heart’s joy. Keep me from a false healing. Let Your blood be the only balsam of my wounded conscience; let Your love be the only solace of my troubled spirit. Precious Jesus! smite and bruise me as You will, may but the hand that bears in its palm the scar of the nail pour the wine and the oil of Your love into my bleeding, sorrowing heart. “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed.”

But, perhaps, your wound is self-inflicted, and the consciousness of this keeps you back from Christ. Your own hand has pierced you! You have sadly departed from God, have willfully sinned against conviction, against your own conscience; against so much divine love experienced, so much covenant mercy received, so many rich blessings given, so many sins pardoned and backslidings healed, and wanderings restored. Be it so. Still the language of God is–“And I said after she had done all these things, Turn unto Me.” “I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely–for my anger is turned away from him.” Bring, then, these wounds to Jesus which your own or another’s hand has inflicted; and with the balm that flows from His own pierced heart, He will heal you. “O Israel, you have destroyed yourself, but in Me is your help found.” Oh, remember that there can be no wound too deep or too desperate for Christ’s healing, loving touch.