Hebrews 4:14–16

Trauma has been defined as “an injury (as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent ... a disordered psychic or behavioural state resulting from mental or emotional stress.”

Like potatoes in a pressure cooker, we understand the meaning of stress. A week doesn’t pass without a few skirmishes with those “extrinsic agents” that beat upon our fragile frames. They may be as mild as making lunches for our kids before 7:30 in the morning or as severe as a violent encounter with an assailant. Makes no difference. The result is “trauma.”

Years ago, a stress test carried on by Dr. Thomas Holmes and his colleagues concluded that an accumulation of two hundred or more “life change units” in any year may mean more disruption—more trauma—than an individual can stand. On their scale, death of a spouse equals 100 units, and divorce represents 73 units. Christmas equals 12 units! That helps explain the idea behind “something snapping” inside certain people when the final straw breaks them. Our trauma capacity has its limits.

Perhaps because of a painful episode in your past, you are trying to cope without hope. You are stretched dangerously close to the 200-unit limit, and there’s no relief in sight. I have some good news for you. There’s Someone you can turn to who’s been there and stands ready to enter into your trauma like no other person can.

Since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings [trauma] we do ... Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:14–16).

Does Jesus know what trauma is all about? Remember, He’s the One whose sweat became like drops of blood in the agony of Gethsemane. If anybody understands trauma, He does. Completely. His provision is attainable and tender. He’s a master at turning devastation into restoration. Turn to Him and receive His healing and grace for you and your family. Don’t wait any longer. Come now.


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord ... Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.