Don’t Shoot the Wounded
The aged writer brushed his long gray locks of hair from in front of his wizened bearded face and sat down with pen in hand. What is so ironic is that he didn’t refer to himself as a writer; for he had not written anything in years and it had been even longer since anything was published. What he was about to write was not to be submitted to any publisher, it was simply an entry in a journal. This is what he wrote:
“When I was young, very young, perhaps three or four I knew I was real – more real than the Velveteen Rabbit. I was real and I was enthusiastically alive. While others around me may have been real I thought they could not feel things like I could; I thought they were there for my purpose; they were there to serve me, to meet my needs. I was indeed real and others, well they were there for one reason – to serve me!
Now that I am old, I believe everyone else is real, I mean really real and enthusiastically alive and I am only an intangible being, only here to serve them and meet their needs - I am simply a pawn in their hands and I’m here for them to do with me as they wish.
I am spent, I am undone, a castaway, and the only real companions I have are my memories, which forever haunt me!”
How many of us have felt like our once famous author? While many young children feel they are the center of attention they soon learn they are not. Similarly, far too many Christians feel life has wasted them, while once they felt useful, needed, and had a purpose, they now are wasted, dejected, and simply doing time.
After years of service many believers have become shell shocked. They have been in one too many battles. Others have let sin slip in and what was once a trickle is now a flood.
There are great men and women of God who are depressed, they are indeed shell shocked. The term “shell shock” was first used during World War I to describe those who were involved in furious fighting. Today we use Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or the acronym PTSD. Those brave soldiers fighting today in the Middle East deserve all the moral and financial support we can give them. Some statistics indicate as many as one in eight suffers from PTSD. This is far too many! Yet there are soldiers who have been wounded in God’s army and they are suffering also. Like our once famous writer, who had a mighty pen, now he feels as useless as his pen.
Elijah was in my opinion, the iron man of the Bible. Yet, he fell under great depression.
Elijah, this iron man of Yahweh, seemed he could not fail. He had experienced one astonishing miracle after another. God had sent ravens to feed him and during a time of severe drought and famine Elijah, a widow, and her son were miraculously protected and provided for and the widow’s son was even raised from the dead after Elijah’s mighty prayer. One of Elijah’s greatest victories of all was when he faced what were insurmountable odds when he challenged 450 prophets of Baal. By the way Baal worshipers had at least two evil rituals. One was debauchery and the other mayhem and slaughter. In one they had lewd sexual drunken orgies and the other they had mass murders. They would sacrifice their babies to this false god Baal. A fire was lit inside a metal idol, heated until the idol was extremely hot, and then a baby would be placed in the arms of the idol or slid inside the idol and burned to death. We certainly have Baal worship today with our drunken sexual orgies. The evil and brutal acts of their immolations are no different than our abortions today!
Elijah on Mt. Carmel challenged the people who gathered there and cried out: “How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is god then follow him. But the people did not answer him a word.”
A few hours later the fire of the Lord fell from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and licked up the water that was in the trench. This iron man of God actually called down fire from heaven and when the people saw this they fell on their faces and declared “The Lord He is God, The Lord He is God.”
Verse 40 of Chapter 18 says that Elijah addressed the people and said “Seize the prophets of Baal, do not let one of them escape. So they seized them; and Elijah brought them to the brook Kishon and slew them there.” The people watching declared that the Lord was God!
Now after such a victory the last thing we would expect is for Elijah to fall into depression, but he did. He found out a women named Jezebel was after him to kill him. For awhile he was on a downward path. He even had suicidal thoughts. He prayed that he might die, and while sitting under a Juniper tree after a days journey into the wilderness he said: 'It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'" (1 Kings 19:4).
Elijah's situation reveals several problems that can bring us down. One is that there is great danger on the heels of great victory.
Many have served God and have given Him their all and suddenly they fall into a deleterious condition as the result of a mental attack from the enemy and severe depression is the outcome. There are many soldiers of the cross who are wounded, depressed and shell shocked.
What do we do with these one time warriors?
Sin can also cause us to be severely wounded. I know of nothing more depressing than a believer, who once walked close to God, kept His laws and abided in Him day by day until sin crept in and eventually devoured him. What often starts out as a trickle turns into a flood. As the result many lie wasted and they think they are abandoned by God.
David is one such case. He was hit on every side but perhaps one of his lowest points was after his murder of Uriah and his adultery with Bathsheba.
David’s sin before the Lord was great. He committed murder and adultery. God sent a great prophet to rebuke him. That prophet’s name was Nathan. Most of us have read the account numerous times, but perhaps reading it again would be a wise and prudent thing to do for I have one question for you at the end of the reading.
“The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man.”
Let’s stop right here. Let’s try to imagine the scene. Here we have Nathan which in Hebrew means “God has given”. How do you think Nathan said “you are the man.”?
Did his veins pop out and in a strident voice did he scream out with hate and say “you are the man!”? Did he stomp his feet and bellow out in a mean spirited voice and declare you are the man!”? The fact is we don’t know but I will submit to you not only out of respect of David’s office as King but out of love and compassion he said with a broken and tender heart: “You are the man.”
Although David suffered severe consequences for his sin, he was still forgiven and the catalyst of that forgiveness was the kind and compassionate voice of the prophet saying “You are the man.”
How we say something is very important. The average Christian is too quick to condemn and too slow to restore.
I listen to a lot of Christian music. In my opinion one of the deeper talents in Christian music is Chuck Girard. A few years ago he wrote a hard hitting song entitled “Don’t Shoot the Wounded”. I have entitled my article by the same name.
Please read it carefully - it needs to be heard.
“Don’t Shoot the Wounded”
(Chorus) Don't shoot the wounded, they need
us more than ever. They need our love no matter what it is they've done.
Sometimes we just condemn them, and don't take time to hear their story.
Don't shoot the wounded, someday you might be one.
It's easy to love the people who are standing hard and fast pressing on to meet that higher calling, but the ones who might be struggling, we tend to judge too harshly and refuse to try and catch them when they're falling. We put people into boxes and we draw our hard conclusions and when they do the things we know they should not do
we sometimes write them off as hopeless and we throw them to the dogs. Our compassion and forgiveness sometimes seem in short supply. So I say... Chorus
We can love them and forgive them. When their sin does not exceed our own
for we too have been down bumpy roads before, but when they commit offenses outside the boundaries we have set, we judge them in a word and we turn them out,
and we close the door. Myself I've been forgiven for so many awful things. I've been cleansed and washed and bathed so many times
that when I see a brother who has fallen from the way
I just can't find the license to convict him of his crimes
So I say...Chorus
That doesn't mean we turn our heads when we see a brother sin and pretend that what he's doing is all right.
But we must help him see his error, we must lead him to repent, cry with those who cry, but bring their deeds into the light, for it's the sick that need the doctor and it's the lame that need the crutch.
It's the prodigal who needs the loving hand. For a man who's in despair, there should be kindness from his friends
'lest he should forsake the fear of almighty God and turn away from God and man. So I say...Chorus
Please take a look at Chuck Girard’s website to learn more about his ministry – www.chuckgirard.com
We have a lot of once strong and intrepid believers who are wounded, sick, and shell shocked, and it’s up to us to help restore them. If they are willing to repent, if they are willing to ask God to forgive them, then who are we to turn a deaf ear to their plea and fail to lend a helping hand?
Remember our old author at the beginning of this article - well the words are my own, I wrote them several years ago at one of my lower points. The part about being an author - that was added either for dramatic effect or as a figment of my own delusion of grandeur.
I encourage each of you to find individuals before this week is over who you know are wounded and help restore them. Begin to pray for them now and see what God will do.
Perhaps you don’t even know the Lord - then now is the time to come to the cross and be washed in the blood of Yeshua. And please remember: Don’t shoot the wounded for one day you might be one.
John 16:32, Nehemiah. 8:10, Psalms 42:5, Psalms 37:23-24 Hosea 6:1, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalms 147:3 1 Peter 4:6-7, Romans 8:38-39
I am aware how our nation has fallen. I am aware how our nation is turning against Israel. And I am also aware of the overall moral decay that is trying to engulf us. Yet God is also raising up an army fit for service and I felt a need to write this article because there are many who need to get back on the front lines - they just need our help. They need our prayers, a visit, an email, a phone call or a letter. We need them and they need us!
Now may the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you through His Son Yeshua.
New Mailing Address
Please begin to address all your correspondence to the following new address:
Jack Hunter or
A Trumpet in the Wilderness
624 W. University Dr.
Denton, TX 76201
I Need Your Help!!
For the past several years I have let this ministry slide; I have let it slide so far it has almost slid into a ditch. I posted a short update on our website under ”updates” about my three day stay in the hospital and how it has proven life changing both physically and spiritually. I am in the process of rebuilding the ministry. Now, I need your help, but only if the Lord leads you. I would like you to give me names and addresses of individuals who you feel might benefit form reading our “Trumpet Blast”. I don’t want your money or their money – I just want to do my little part and send out a newsletter. I also ask for your prayers that I will not be derailed, but press on as never before.