Persimmons, prickly pears and petulant daughters…
09 Wednesday Nov 2011
My thoughts were precipitated by recent comments from two women over the breakup of a romantic relationship.
Feelings of rejection, abandonment, wounded pride, fear, judgment and perhaps even a desire to hurt the one who had unintentionally hurt them were all evident in their vitriolic venting.
Human nature – that is our sinful, self-absorbed nature — can rise to the surface when we get hurt. Our gut reaction may be to strike out in an attempt to make the other guy feel as miserable as we do. It’s been said…hurt people, hurt people.
But this is not how He does it.
Insults were hurled at Jesus and He did not retaliate.
He came to Earth and His own rejected Him.
Jesus hung on the cross asking the Father to forgive us, for we know not what we do…
No matter what…Jesus loves us. Always. Nothing can ever separate us from His love.
But, we are apt to forget this and instead act like prickly pears and petulant daughters, which I suspect, does not make the King smile.
And the prickliness begins in our hearts. At least that’s where mine has gotten its start.
Then, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, the tears form and we may act anything but loving.
In our secret chambers where the pain is ever present, we keep score and lick our wounds. And the more we think in unloving ways towards someone, the worse we feel.
And therein lies a key to our healing.
Coupled with forgiveness and a desire to please God, how we choose to think can make a huge difference.
For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…
I am not saying we don’t hurt or our pain is not real.
But, if we choose to think our own thoughts, listen to lies, and believe our moaning and whining hearts – that is precisely how we will continue to feel. As bad as we think…
We can choose to focus on “me,” coddling our pain and expecting others to tread ever so lightly, tip toeing past our bruises, treating us differently so as not to awaken what festers inside.
I contend that God uses our pain and will surface situations like a broken relationship to help us get to our next destination. I was once in a relationship that I thought was The One. Breaking up was hard to do. But, if I hadn’t, I would have missed the gift of a lifetime that I have with my husband, Michael.
Until we take His hand, be brave and allow Him to sit on the throne of our broken hearts, instead of self, we are doomed to wallow. To perpetuate cycles. To make others miserable. To choose poorly. To miss His blessing.
But, letting the light of His Love shine into our darkness transforms pain from something that cripples and incarcerates, into something that liberates as it makes us stronger.
So what are you waiting for?
Sometimes fear holds me in a tight embrace.
Sometimes stubborn pride says, “No, I won’t .”
Sometimes habit is like a cranky old friend that I put up with so I don’t have to venture beyond my default comfort zone.
But, He would seem to say Stop! FORGET the former things. Let it go and let Me bless you in the way I choose. Come to me and abide in my word and you will be free.
Then, like a lamp set on a hill beckoning other tired travelers along life’s highway to set down their baggage and their burdens at the foot of the cross, my heart and yours too will overflow with that pure, healing, full of His Love light. As we grow more like Jesus, we can perhaps share with the next struggling other how God helped us over the hump.
With Him on the throne of our hearts, we will love like He does, unconditionally, no matter what — you can disappoint me, hurt my feelings or even leave me (and I will need to let go), yet I will still love you.
It’s one of the hardest lessons. Yet everything in life, I am convinced, goes back to this foundational principle. Do we yet love God and love our neighbor?
As the author of Love, He pens individual lesson plans for us, many of which I have failed repeatedly! But He is patient and keeps loving as He gently sends us back to summer school so we can repeat the course until we get it right.
All in preparation for our big graduation day when we will finally join with Him and soar on wings like eagles through all time and eternity with no end or sickness or painful heart loss. Then this earthly preface to our story will unfold in majestic triumph for pages un-numbered and too numerous to even contemplate counting….
Until that day we’ll carry on as He carries us.
And then we will trade in our pouty, puckered, persimmon, prickly little girl or little boy hearts, minds and attitudes, for his newness in us…his treasures in jars of clay…purefied dust bunnies who will shine like the stars in heaven for all eternity where we will have only just begun…
The hurts which have held us captive in our lack of love will not matter as much as they do today. We will be impervious to satan’s slings and arrows for our shield of love, which covers a heart that has died to self, will not be punctured.
Oh, blessed day we bid you come.
Now, about those ladies and that broken relationship that they bitterly lamented…I don’t know how their conversation is proceeding these days but I pray that someday soon true and lasting Love will swallow up their pain and they will let the past lie, trusting that God has a much better plan than they could possibly imagine.
I pray that for you and me, too.