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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives…”
~Isaiah 61:1 NKJV~
There is probably no other reason that I have called upon my God more than to help heal my broken heart. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve put myself out there only to be deceived, manipulated and ultimately hurt by those who profess their great love for me. As I was reflecting on this today, I realized why it hurts us so much when someone we love decides that we are no longer what they want. As God’s creation, we are made in His image. His spirit lives in each of us and when we hurt, he hurts. For those who operate exclusively in the flesh, the hurt comes out as an attack on those who don’t deserve to be injured by our injury. So, as we are trying to understand our walk with God, we’re either hurting to the point that we hurt others or we have been hurt so by others that we can’t help but set ourselves up to repeat the mistake time after time.
But is it wrong to hurt? No, not at all. God wants us to love one another and sometimes that love requires great pain and sacrifice that we may never understand. Love always requires some sacrifice, but there are times when it takes everything we’ve got just to move ahead of the things that attempt to drag us back to our Babylons. The more progress you make, the more likely you are to encounter hurt. But the triumph you will experience if you just press on will be amazing. We’re assured of that victory in God’s word.
It’s not that we should just cut ourselves off from all relationship for fear of being hurt again. That’s not what we’re called to either. In my own experience, just when I think I’ve got things figured out something comes back into my field of vision and tries to convince me that I wasn’t finished with whatever I’d already walked away from. Something tries to pull me backward into a mess I’d spent so much time trying to clean up. And there is no good choice available. I can either choose to go back and try it again to see if anything has changed, thus risking all of the healing I’ve done since I walked away. Or I can choose to make my demands plain up front and experience a whole new kind of rejection and heartache, thus proving that what I left behind should have stayed there in the first place.
We can heal from anything with God’s love in our hearts. If we choose to keep letting people break us, He will continue to put us back together. But we have to wake up and see whose purpose this brokenness really serves. The devil knows that if he can get someone to break your heart, you will be in recovery for a time and you won’t be able to fight the good fight until you’ve done some healing. Every little setback that he can throw in your path is worth his effort. But as usual, he’s only delaying the inevitable stomping that he’s going to get when we recover. God wants us to heal. He wants us to be able to love others even when they are unlovable. He also wants us to guard our hearts with the knowledge that it is His love that will always be there for us. It is His love that will never choose the things of this world over us. Even when we fail Him and we choose the things of the world over Him. He forgives…and He loves. And so, when someone you love chooses the things of the world over the love you offer them, let them go. Forgive them, continue to love them and give them to God.
In the same way we fail to love God as we should, people will always fall short in the way they can love us. There is nothing we can do to keep others from hurting us. Sometimes they just have no choice. They haven’t figured out that the love they will experience in the spirit when they finally embrace God is so much better than what any other person will be able to give them here. When we love from the flesh, it will always fail to meet our expectations. Only the love that comes from the spirit of God that lives in us can truly satisfy. When we get that, there is no devil in hell that will succeed in breaking our heart. With that, I’ll just say, “Well played, devil. Nice try. But my God is an awesome God and He’s already fixed what you’ve broken. Move along. There’s nothing to see here.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
~Mark 5:29 NKJV~
He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding. ”
Sometimes we just want to know why. Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to someone I love? What does God want me to do with this? Where does He want me to go? Is it even Him? We want all of the answers to the questions we hold in our hearts and minds and we fail to accept that sometimes we can miss the whole point of the lesson because we were too busy trying to figure out why it was being taught. It’s possible that we do this because in some instances we are so worried that we are being punished for something we’ve done wrong that we forget that it isn’t always about us. In reality, even if it is really about us it isn’t likely that God is truly using the situation to punish us for not being perfect or for coming up with the wrong answer. Sometimes, He’s trying to help us get unstuck. Sometimes, we just have to let the seasons change and admire the presence of God’s handiwork as we face each new day. Sometimes we might have to do this through tears, but that doesn’t erase the beauty that He can create from our ashes. It only keeps it from being completely in focus until after we’ve dried our tears.
This has been a particularly difficult season in my life. Quite frankly, there have been many days when I had to constantly tell myself that things would be better in the morning. There were many nights that I woke up in fear, shaken by a nightmare or just a barrage of thoughts I didn’t want to have. Even though I love my God and I trust Him with all my heart, the devil wasn’t about to relent and I spent many hours of many days sitting in prayer, crying out to God for help. The best part of it all was that in all of those hours, even though I was going through some things I just couldn’t understand I knew that God was with me, He was for me and He was not going to let it all get the best of me in the end.
One of the toughest challenges I’ve faced in the past few years is watching as my loved ones have become ill and as some have passed away. This has been difficult not only because I have a hard time dealing with loss, but because I have a very hard time watching my family struggle with loss. So I sometimes have felt like I have to choose whether or not I will break down and let my sadness take over or if I am strong enough to support others as they experience grief. In truth, I tend to distance myself from those whom I love. This is especially true when I hear that they have been sick or when I realize that they are getting older and that they might not always be with me. Although selfish and quite possibly not the best thing I could do to show my love, it seems to be a reflex. Looking back at the times when I have truly had an opportunity to let someone know that they were important to me, I can’t say that I have ever taken full advantage of it. I know this is an area where God has been working on me and I like to think that I’m getting a little better at showing love on the front end. I hope and pray that I will eventually find strength to follow through with what I know to be the right way to let my loved ones know what they mean to me before it’s too late.
Just like anyone else, I get caught up in trying to protect myself from harm. With trying to protect my daughter from harm. Sometimes I fail to show forgiveness to the degree that God would have me show it. Sometimes, I’m simply too forgiving in the wrong circumstances and end up focusing all of my good energy on those who couldn’t care less whether or not I love them. It’s a process. A long, difficult process that encompasses not one, but pretty much every season of life. When I’ve prayed to God for understanding, He has most often been resolutely silent on the matter. The other day, however; I was asking Him for guidance and He said to me, “Sometimes we aren’t meant to understand the seasons of our lives until a long time after we’ve gone through them.” That was it. And in that moment, I thought about all of the things I have been through and tried to remember what I was feeling when I was going through them. Yes, it’s true. I didn’t understand them then, but with His help I understand most of them now. And later, it will make even more sense. But I have to keep asking Him for that guidance. I have to keep asking Him to help me through what doesn’t make sense and hope that He will show me the why later. And when He gives me answers, I have to not only be willing to apply that knowledge, but to share what I’ve learned when it makes sense.
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
~1 Kings 4:29~