I’m gonna get a little personal…enter at your own risk!
Are you like me? Have you ever wondered if someone will ever love you just the way you are? Do you ever feel alone? Cry for no good reason at all? Feel like something is wrong with you because you are surrounded by a whole room of people and still feel alone? Do you ever feel like there is this large void in the center of your being and no amount of encouragement or affirmation is good enough to answer the question “Am I important? Do I matter?”
As I get older I become more and more convinced that we really have no idea how to love each other or we would not having feelings like this in the body of Christ. The kind of Love that Paul describes in 1 Cor 13 seems unattainable to me. John 13:34 & 35 (34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”) This Love that Jesus is talking about would make us attractive as a Church right? People would be drawn to that kind of love!
Unfortunately it’s much easier to criticize and judge than encourage and love one another and the church as a whole is known in our western culture as an unsafe place for our hearts. Let’s face it each of us have been hurt in some way by a fellow believer. So what happens when we get hurt? We either shut down and spend allot of time trying not to allow ourselves to be hurt again, carrying bitterness and anger with a nice mask to cover it in the public… or we deal with it, cry & grieve but then we move on. Unfortunately most of us if you are like me at all are more likely to lean toward self protection rather than vulnerability but if we really want to make a difference in the world it’s going to take vulnerability, just look at Jesus’ life. He allowed them to call him names, beat him and went to the cross, all for US. He did not defend Himself or get angry, He could have…but He didn’t because He wanted to demonstrate the kind of love that would change the world.
So what hurt, anger or bitterness are you carrying with you? Are you believing the lies of your critics and feeling the need to protect yourself? Here are a couple of the lies I struggle with and all of them are statements that have been spoken to me at one time or another.
“I wish you were never born” – making me believe that my life was not valuable. “You will never amount to anything and no one will EVER love you this way” making me believe that I am unlovable and nothing I ever do will be good enough for me to be loved. Both of these statements were spoken to me when I young girl and at that time I didn’t know that I had the choice not to believe them, but now as an adult I do have a choice to replace those ugly statements with the voice of God when He says to me “I loved you before you were born and have planned everything about you, You are important to ME. You don’t need to do one more thing to make Me love you, I love you the way you are.”
Here are some thoughts from a book I am reading called “Captivating” by John & Staci Eldridge.
“The purposes of Jesus Christ are not finished when one of His precious children is forgiven. Would a good father feel satisfied when his daughter is rescued from a car accident, but left in ICU? Doesn’t he want her to be healed as well?
“You are the glorious Image Bearer of the Lord Jesus Christ – the crown of His creation. You have been assaulted. You have fallen to your own resources. Your enemy has seized upon your wounds and your sins to pin your heart down. Now the Son of God has come to ransom you, and heal your broken, wounded, bleeding heart, and to set you free from bondage. He came for the broken hearted captives. That’s me! That’s you! He came to restore the glorious creation that YOU ARE. And then set you free…to be yourself.”
Why don’t you speak these verses with me out loud?
Isaiah 61:1-3 says
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Today He is offering more than just forgiveness, He is offering complete healing from all the hurt that’s ever been inflicted on you. He is asking you & me to be vulnerable so that hurting people would be attracted to Jesus in us. Will you let Him heal you … so that you can offer healing to others?
I will close with some thoughts that a friend of mine shared with me this week that really stuck with me. She asked me “Why did Peter sink when he went to walk on the water?” “The waves and the rough water made him take his eyes off Jesus” she stated. A light bulb went off in my head as she said to me “Jesus offers all of us the opportunity to walk on water but so often we sink because we take our eye off of Jesus. There will always be storms and waves that distract us, but as long as our eyes are on Him we can rise above our circumstances and walk on water and when we do sink, because we will, we are human after all … He will always be there offering His hand to pull us back up if we allow Him to.”