“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.”
These lines are taken from the English folk song Sir Andrew Barton, about the 16th century High Admiral of the Kingdom of Scotland. (1466-1511) Like all in the ministry we get wounded from time to time. When it happens we need to take what time we can afford to regather out thoughts, regain out courage, and refocus on what really matters.
Taking a little time to “bleed” — to deal with the disappointment, to come to a place of acceptance, to begin thinking about what to do next — isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s a pretty good idea.
Sometimes as believers who are actively serving the Body of Christ, we can find ourselves in times of difficulty, pain and hurt. We need to remember that our Lord promised we would have trials and tribulations in this life.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”– John 16:33
The worst thing you can do is pretend that what hurts doesn’t really hurt, keeping on as if nothing happened. A leader who doesn’t deal with his pain limits the effectiveness of all who serve with him, just like a football player who continues to play injured lets down the whole team down with a sub par performance. This kind of player often sets himself up for an even greater injury. If you follow NFL players, RGIII comes to my mind.
When you’re hurting, the best thing you can do is acknowledge it, take time to deal with it, and get past the pain as much as possible before trying to move on. To “lay me down and bleed a while” isn’t selfish, even when people are counting on you right now. It’s the best move you can make to ensure you finish the race.
“I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7