Tag Archives: hurt

Surely You Won’t Die…or will you?

I think of the garden scene a lot.  Adam and Eve in paradise – or the closest thing to it on earth.  Heaven on earth.  Adam and Eve walked with God and talked with Him enjoying His presence constantly.  Everything they needed was in the confines of that existence, which is exactly how God intended it to be, perhaps even for us!

In my mind, I see hundreds and hundreds of trees yielding every kind of fruit we can think of.  I believe the garden was the place of perfection and what we all want life to be – no want of any kind and need.  I think desire wasn’t even in their vocabulary yet until that one conversation changed everything (Genesis 3).

“Surely you will not die!” (Genesis 3:4).  In other words, “He’s a liar.  He just doesn’t want you be rival to Him.  He wants to control you!  He doesn’t want you to be truly happy! One piece won’t hurt! What difference will it really make?  Die?  Pff – you’re not gonna die. “ Sound familiar?  With all we have, with everything God has blessed us with and everything He’s allowed us to live through and experience (both good and bad), we can’t seem to get to the place where we’re content with that.  Some are in a state of constant want: “If I could just…if I had…I want…if only…”.

God didn’t tell them not to partake of the tree to be mean or controlling. He did that for their protection because He knew the harm that would come to them.  He knew it would change them and their relationship with Him…and it did.  The same principal is true for us.  He knows what sin will do to us and our relationship with the Father. The things He warns against are all wrapped in “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1st John 2:16 NASB).  The Bible is full of caution for our protection! It’s not that He wants you to be without what you think you want…He wants you to be without hurt, regret or shame.

Toying, flirting with, considering doing what we know we shouldn’t WILL kill us in more than one way.  It causes something in us to die and could cause pain all around us.  From some consequences we may never recover. Are you willing to risk it?  Do you want to die?

A Table in the Wilderness: The Invitation

Have you felt it?  That emptiness or perhaps a great need that we can’t even speak. If we could articulate, it would be ill-defined.  It may be masked in a physical lack but it stems from a spiritual one.

Perhaps some of our greatest blessings have produced the biggest heartaches.  We sometimes trust God and know we’re living and moving to please Him, yet pain creeps in, in ways we never expected.  We’ve fooled ourselves; we’ve listened to the wrong message.  The world has lied to us; it has let us down.  God allowed it, yes; but He never fails. So what’s the deal? Why are we feeling so defeated and discouraged?

Maybe it’s because we haven’t been to the table in a while.  What table you ask?  That one.

Meticulously set in the middle of our messes and our huts, it beckons us the way the burning bush did Moses. How could all that beauty and the pull of a sacred invitation even be here in all this ugliness, fear, heartbreak…how could HE be in the midst of all this madness?  Really…is it Him?

Yes, beloved.  It’s Him.  He’s right there amongst the disorder to bring order.  In our hurts, He longs to bring healing.  Jesus awaits His most prized possession:  you – and time with you. He embodies everything we’re looking for and so much more. He’s sitting there, waiting for a one-on-one moment with you.  Yes, you.

Do you accept His invitation?  How? Only one thing is required…come.

Whatchamacallit

Go look in the mirror – well, wait until after you read this.  😉 You are stunning.  So beautiful and strong.  Look at that smile.  Never mind the creases and wrinkles.  Actually, take them in as well. They’re signs of the things you’ve weathered.  Cancer.  Death of loved ones.  Loss of material things, jobs, raising kids.  Whatever.   Think about all you’ve been through; all God has brought you through.  You’re still on your feet.  You still have the ability and more importantly the want to, to smile.  You still are good and do good things.  You’re still capable of love and blessing other people.  You still dole out compassion generously. You still believe.  You obviously still have hope because you’re doing today what you did yesterday:  living!

Whatever you’ve been through – your whatchamacallit – hasn’t killed you.  Has it changed you?  Are you living or just existing?  Are you deeply wounded from it all?  If you are, now that you’ve survived it, God can heal you.  Are you bitter? He can heal you.  Are you physically and emotionally distorted?  He can heal you.

Sometimes we choose after something life-changing to not remember but I’d encourage you to take a brief look back.  Recall the things you were absolutely terrified and/or brokenhearted about; the things you couldn’t see any way out of and yet, here you are.  Amazing.

Don’t believe God is still in the miracle business?  Look in the mirror.  There it is, His greatest accomplishment. Physical proof He is still very much in the miracle business.  You can still smile, love and most important of all, believe.  If you can do nothing but cry, your tears are evidence that He’s working on you, creating His masterpiece miracle because, after all of it, you still feel.

Whatchamacallits will always be until we’re in heaven.  As long as you keep seeking Him, trusting Him that’s He’s with you through it all, no matter what, anything is possible.  Rock on mighty and beautiful warrior.  You got this, He’s got you and you’ve got Him.

Hebrews 11:1…GENESIS 50:20!!!!

OVERRULED!

I’m one messed up person. I have been through a lot – anyone who’s my age that’s lived any kind of life has. We’re impacted by life events whether we know it or not. We start out as children with the purest intentions and love without any constraint…then life happens to gradually, sometimes unknowingly change all that. We have an inborn expectation that everything is going to be wonderful and easy, everyone will love us just because they say they do; our families will support us and be there for us no matter what we do, what happens or which way we choose to go.  We get a little age on us and experience behind us and we become tainted and broken, like a glass that missed a proper setting on the countertop.

We fight and argue, we choose to judge those who are different from us. We stop believing in good and start seeking the bad. We stop believing in pretty much everything for a while perhaps. We become selfish and prideful, even arrogant and demanding. We start hurting people out of our own perceptions and because of what’s happened to us.

I don’t want to love and turn the other cheek.  My “nature” is to get before I get got.  OVERRULED!  The Christ in my life, and His Spirit inside me trumps my want to on many occasions.  I find myself often at that critical crossroad where I must decide to LET Him have His way.

I don’t want to work hard to make a living. I’m tired and want things to be easy.  OVERRULED! My love for Him forces a decision, yet again. I must decide to do ALL THINGS as if doing them for Him.

I don’t want to take a chance on showing compassion or helping anyone because there were times I was in the same boat and found myself alone.  OVERRULED! I know in my Spirit that things have happened for this specific reason – to show what God has done in my life to encourage someone else walking the same road, otherwise it would result in bitterness and be for nothing.

The “BJ Barbie” (before-Jesus-Barbie) was a selfish, mad, bitter and hateful woman incapable of emotions related to compassion.  “My nature” – who I really am and what I really WAS, partly because of choice, partly because of what happened – was, IS vile.  She still exists, but I CHOOSE not to let her be evident.

More than ever, we must choose to live, act, work and talk to please HIM and not feed our emotions. Sometimes I choose correctly and sometimes I’m overruled; sometimes I choose to be “bad” and even in those times, God still loves me – and Jesus is still very much with me.

Think He’s not with you?  Think He’s going to toss you because you’re less than perfect?  OVERRULED!!!

Forgive our humanness, Lord. May we allow You to overrule and supercede anything about us.

Treasures in the Darkness

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places…” Isaiah 45:3

Take an inventory of what you’ve lost, what’s been stolen even what you gave away.  Chunks of your love, your heart, resources you’ve invested only to find yourself sometimes empty.  Perhaps you’re in a place of regret, wishing you hadn’t done this or that; wishing you hadn’t loved this one or that one, taken that job, spent that money.  Regret is a dark place and it really doesn’t matter what caused it, the pain of regret is the same and brings many emotions with it.

God knows. He is well aware of all you’ve given through love and sacrifice.  He knows you made the best decision possible with what you had to go on; He also knows the times you knew it wasn’t in your best interest (or the interest of others) but you did it anyway. He knows the times you stepped out in blind faith and the times you dove head first without thinking.  He knows every tear you’ve cried and the people and reasons behind it.

Walk into a completely dark room with no light source and we become disoriented.  Even though it’s a familiar place, the darkness changes everything doesn’t it?  We may stumble over something that has been in place for years; we forget what’s in there and where it is. The same is true for spiritual darkness. When the light and hope are stolen we find ourselves in complete darkness and forget what we have…WHO we have right at our fingertips.

Rest assured, God will use it all to bring about a fresh revelation of who He is and the personal love He has for you. Even though you can’t see it, feel it or touch it…you may not even believe it or believe in Him right now; even that doesn’t matter.  He is.  He’s there, He loves you and He’s aware.  Trust Him to bring the treasure out of the darkness.  Know that even if you’ve asked for darkness He is bringing the light to your situation.  He IS the light; He is the goodness that will come from the places of despair.

Some of the recurrent themes in our lives are tragedy, heartache, brokenness, and we often find ourselves asking why.  God answers in this verse:  “So that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3b).

The darkness can’t be dark because He’s there and He will bring treasures from it. Believe it.  Will you?

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness does not create a relationship.  Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible.  When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgement, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.”  Wm Paul Young, The Shack

“I’m sorry” isn’t required but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?  Somehow someone acknowledging they caused great pain is great medicine for our woundedness but a lot of times that doesn’t happen.  Someone once said “when someone lies to you or about you, they feel you’re not worthy of the truth”.  That hits home…someone who lies about you and to you doesn’t feel you’re worthy of the truth.  Why would we want them in our lives, to allow them to make us feel more unworthy of truth and love than we already do?

I’ve never been one to just go along.  I believe forgiveness IS possible without ever having to see or speak to someone again and when it’s gone on for as long as one can remember, I think it’s best, especially when there is no change in behavior “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:17.  Owning up to what we’ve done, taking responsibility, is the best thing.  Some are incapable of that.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t like admitting my atrocities… it’s unpleasant and humbling but I always feel better and KNOW it’s right when I do.

Hope is a wonderful thing.  HOPING someone will change and see what they have done then change accordingly is always in order.  Praying for them is always, always right.  Ask God for them to open their hearts and eyes to see the realness of what has been done and ask Him to give them the desire to change and the courage to act upon that desire.

Until then, it’s okay if you don’t get back in with them.  We need to just be sure we’re “clean” – we must deal with our anger, hurt and disappointment in a godly way and the only way to do that is to take it to Him until it’s gone which sometimes takes a very long time.  I’ve found I don’t feel anything but pity for those who hurt me because they’re blinded by their version of self-justification and the lies they’ve come to believe.  We don’t have to be that way.  “It is what it is”, is one of my favorite sayings and that means to me, ONLY God can change it, I have to accept it and what I DO WITH IT is paramount.

We can allow that hurt to fester in many ways and change us, or we can truly desire to heal from it, forgive and get on with our lives.

We can choose forgiveness.  We can choose to let it go and go on and be better because of it and thankful we survived it.  Some didn’t.

I choose forgiveness; I pray you do too.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22

What Was

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In all likelihood, this was a good storage building at one time.  Not anymore.  Full of who knows what, it’s dilapidated and forgotten now.  It captured my attention for some reason and when I go back, it reminds me of what was.

I see people all the time who have weathered many storms.  I wonder if any of us are even close to who we’re supposed to be.  The things life has brought our way, all the hurt, disappointment, tragedy, death, have taken their toll.

I look at my own life and wonder if there is anything worthwhile left.  There must be because God still has me here. Why, I don’t know.   My life, in some respects, doesn’t resemble my life at all.  The most important people to me have changed addresses, the things I used to care about I don’t anymore.  Sometimes I question the point of all this. What was makes me sad, in a way, but what still is, excites me.

I wonder what God will do next. I think I needed to be cleaned out, things needed to be removed. Perhaps I clung to things and people too much.  Perhaps they obstructed my heart and my view to what is really important.

I’ve learned that many things I valued have no real significance and that the only person who will never fail you is God.  The only love that lasts, in its intended form, is His.  I’ve learned, I really know that everything can be lost or taken, misconstrued or manipulated, but He can’t be.  He is true to his word and if all this hadn’t happened I wouldn’t know that.

I’ve learned that the choice to keep believing is ours. No matter what has happened, He knows the silent cries of our hearts.  He knows the truth – He doesn’t see through broken glass.  His picture of us, our lives, is the only real truth.  What He says, His view, is much more important than ours because it’s real and unaltered by anything that happens.

What was is gone and our view of what should be is tainted. No matter what is missing or changed, He still remains the same and if we let Him, He can rebuild what is left into the most beautiful dwelling.  He can heal all that hurt and create in us a new heart, not just mend but take the broken pieces and reconstruct a better us from the inside out.

This old building is a picture of what is left, the evidence of what the years have taken.  Others may see us as finished, broken, beyond repair but He sees something quite different:  a chance for a new creature and a promise for a better vessel in which He resides.  All the unnecessary is gone and a shell, a shell remains.  The lessons of what really matters are learned, not just survived.  That’s all He needs to begin the process of healing and restoring us into better than we were before.  I believe that. Do you?