We have all watched the news or a documentary and wondered how God could allow some of the stuff we see in the world. I used to wonder that about my own childhood. I felt like I couldn’t overcome some of the unfair things that happened to me as a little girl. I didn’t want to have children of my own when I got married because I thought childhood only equaled pain.
“When I became a Christian, all that pain and anger did not go away. Becoming a Christian does not fix us.”
When I became a Christian, all that pain and anger did not go away. Becoming a Christian does not fix us. Becoming a Christian changes our destination from hell to heaven. When we are born again, we have the potential to be healed from everything. However, we have to choose the hard work and pain that healing will cost. Most of us learn from an early age to fake it. By the time children are in middle school, most have learned what it takes to be socially accepted (the most important thing to most of us), but their little hearts are broken and hard.
When pain comes to us in the many forms it will, we have to have a way to cope. If we don’t run to parents and pour out our hearts and let them walk us through it, we can’t handle it. The pain threatens to destroy us. So we harden our hearts so they don’t feel things. It’s a defense mechanism.
A child gets molested and knows it’s wrong, but they don’t tell a parent for fear of getting in trouble or getting others in trouble. Therefore, a wall of deceit comes between the child and the parent. The relationship that’s meant to be similar to our relationship with God is no longer safe and open. The child has to pretend to be ok when he or she is not. A little child (in survival mode) will start to wear a mask.
Children get bullied at school but fear telling anyone because they want to be accepted and not thought a snitch. They have to act fine when they are miserable, frightened, and angry. The only place that child’s pain can manifest is at home (we can only be fake so long).
The parents have no idea why little Johnny is so moody and hateful. They get angry with him and make him feel guilty for being so miserable. Little by little his heart grows hard.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
“Feeling nothing is easier than feeling devastation.”
When our hearts grow hard, nothing good can flow from it. We box it up and work with everything in us to make sure we protect it from pain. Feeling nothing is easier than feeling devastation.
These children grow up and become adults. They have learned how to fake it and function. They have childhood wounds that are kept hidden and undealt with. They wonder why all their relationships go south. Right under the surface of their lives is so much anger and dysfunction but they can’t tell anyone. To put your heart out there means you could be rejected.
“For the one who comes to Christ, there is more than hope. There is joy unspeakable and full of glory…but you have to fight for it.”
This happens with believers and unbelievers alike. For the person without Christ, there is no hope. For the one who comes to Christ, there is more than hope. There is joy unspeakable and full of glory…but you have to fight for it.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
“God puts His salvation in us, but we have to work with all our hearts to let Him completely consume us to the deepest recesses of our hearts.”
God puts His salvation in us, but we have to work with all our hearts to let Him completely consume us to the deepest recesses of our hearts. The pain most humans carry from childhood into adulthood is God-sized. None of us can handle our own hearts unless the mighty hands of a tender God help us every step of the way.
“Oftentimes, the hardest part of our pain is wondering why and how a God who loves us could let it happen to us.”
Oftentimes, the hardest part of our pain is wondering why and how a God who loves us could let it happen to us. To trust the One who had the power to stop it and didn’t makes us feel panicked. We would prefer to be “fine” and just go on with our lives in survival mode. At least we won’t be disappointed or crushed. If our hearts are hard enough, they can’t be crushed.
C.S. Lewis said it best. “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
“The place vulnerability has to start is between us and God.”
The place vulnerability has to start is between us and God. How can we trust the God who had the power to stop all of this and didn’t to be the source of our healing? Why did He allow such darkness to come into our lives in the first place? This question used to haunt me and I would try to push it away. I have found that God is big enough to handle all our questions and more. We don’t have to run from anything. He is not offended or cornered. He is a good Father who is eager to rescue, heal, and help.
God didn’t choose to put us in a sinful world. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, invited sin into the world and into our DNA. We are dominated by it now…from birth. The world turned from light to darkness on that day and God’s beloved children were plunged straight into hostility. We are hostile to God and each other.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
“Misery and pain can either drive us crazy or drive us to God.”
We are stubborn, hateful, hard-hearted, and afraid. We smile and fake it but we are all insecure and empty, looking for someone to fill our cup. God knew our hard hearts would crave pleasure outside of Him. If He let us have a life void of problems, we would chase everything but Him. Misery and pain can either drive us crazy or drive us to God.
From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men (and women) would seek HIm and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us.
God allowed the misery in my life and yours as He watched over us from childhood. God determined who our parents were, our hometowns, our circle of friends, the time in history we were born and He did it all for one reason…so we would reach out for Him.
“God sees every individual person and none are forgotten by God.”
The scripture says He is not far from EACH of us. God sees every individual person and none are forgotten by God. That means He is not far from the starving children in Africa, He is not far from the Muslim in Iran, He is not far from the teenager or adult addicted to pornography. He is waiting for our misery and emptiness to drive us to Him.
“God knows that if we will reach out for Him and find Him, we will be ok.”
No one will ever convince me the Holy Spirit is not the answer to everything. God knows that if we will reach out for Him and find Him, we will be ok.
Warning: We won’t get all of God until God gets all of us. God won’t leave us half healed unless we decide to only give Him part of our heart. He cannot and will not heal what we don’t give Him access to. God won’t make us do anything. He waits for us to reach out. If we do, He will scoop us up and weep with us. He will take our damaged hearts into His nail scarred hands and make it new. He will breathe His very life into it.
“When we place our hearts into God’s hands, we can be so generous with it.”
When we place our hearts into God’s hands, we can be so generous with it. People no longer have the power to break it because it’s safe with God. The life pouring through it is His. Once we live in that place of healing, we can offer our hearts to others and it doesn’t have to grow hard and self-protective. God protects it and keeps it soft for us.
It’s a miracle.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.