|"He Heals the Broken Hearted and Binds Up Their Wounds." (Psalm 147:3)|
It's almost 2 am, and the clocks have been set back, well to be honest, I haven't done it yet but the automatic ones on my laptop and my iPhone and every where they are automatically done have set time back an hour. It just occurred to me that this is the only time when time goes backwards...
What am I doing up? I'm reflecting, I'm thinking, in just two more months we will close the door on 2014. There have been so many changes this year in my life. A few changes that needed to occur and one I never saw coming... And although it was one that hurt beyond any words I could possibly think to write, I'm coming to recognize it as a necessary change. What have I learned? I have learned that we cannot take responsibility for anyone else's decisions or happiness, or actions. We can only be responsible for our own. Sometimes that is so hard to accept, especially when you wish it were otherwise, but often times I have found that that is like beating your head against a wall. You can't "make" someone else happy, it is too huge a responsibility, you can only do what you can to find happiness for yourself. It has taken me five years to realize that, five years is a long time to beat your head against the wall. You cannot take responsibility for the actions of someone else, the more you love someone the harder this is to accept.
I wonder if God feels that way about us sometimes. I wonder if He sees us struggling in an area and wants so hard for us to listen to Him, but we don't or we are slow to listen. I know I am guilty of that myself. Banging my head against a wall and complaining to God "that it hurts." The answer is so simple - stop banging your head against the wall, and the hurt will wane.
He's right you know... The Bible tells us that God sees in full and we see in part. How hard it must be for Him to see it ALL. I'm glad He is God and I am not, for I know there are some things in my life that I would not want to see coming. I truly believe that it is His love, His mercy, His grace that we only see in part. What a merciful God we have. Think about it - physically, if we encounter a situation that causes us too much physical pain God has made our bodies such that we pass out. We lose conscious. That is love, that is grace, that is protection.
Growing pains, do you remember experiencing those when you were a kid? I do. The thing about growing pains, is that they are not only physical, they are spiritual too. As long as we have breath in our bodies we will learn. There is a scripture:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
My mind is being renewed. As I stopped "banging my head" I brought my pain before God, like a child running to a parent with a boo-boo. "Owwwww! Father I hurt!" I said showing Him my heart pain, tears streaming down my face. "Make the pain go away! Ouch! It hurts! Bind it up! Heal my heart!" I said jumping up and down in pain before Him. "Why?? Why did this have to happen? Why does it have to hurt so bad. Make the hurt go away!" I said, running into my Father's arms, sobbing and wrapping my arms around His neck, crying against his shoulder."
He stroked my head, kissed my forehead and sighed a deep sigh, for this heart pain is not one that He would have chosen for me. Had I listened, I would have stayed upon the pathway He had for me and not gone a painful route. This pain was unnecessary, but in true God fashion - He has enabled me to use it as a "spiritual growing pain."
Stroking my head and holding me against Him, He asked me. "And what have you learned my daughter? What has this taught you?"
Hiccupping as I responded, "To guard my heart better, to be careful who I present my heart to."
"What else?" He patiently asked.
" That the things you say in Your Word are there for a reason." I sniffed, still hiccupping in between responses. " That had I listened, I would not be experiencing the pain I feel right now."
"That's right." He said kissing the top of my forehead and smoothing down my hair, still holding me tight.
"And Father?" I said moving back a little so I could look Him in the face, my tear streaked face looking up at Him. "I have learned one other thing too..."
"What 's that my child?" He said, raising a finger to lift my chin affectionately.
"I have learned that I have a really hard head..."
I am quite sure there is nothing more beautiful than the laugher of our God. And I'm quite sure that at that point, I heard it.
"Yes indeed," He responded chuckling. "But I created that "hard head of yours" to be used to glorify ME not to cause you heart pain. So in the future how about using that pretty, hard head of yours to GOOD use."
"Yes Daddy, I will."
And I mean it. I will. The heart pain from my hard head, it still smarts. But not as much as yesterday. It's a little less today and I imagine as I have prayed to the Lord to heal my heart and bind up my wounds, that the wounds took five years to get there, so it makes sense that it would not "instantaneously" go away. Healing takes time. And I don't know all the ways that God will heal me. But I know He will. And I know that the "self inflicted wounds" and allowing myself to be in a "head banging" type of situation is one that I need to examine and learn from, to grow. Only my Creator knows what that full healing will take and so I place myself in the palms of my Father's hands and trust my life (which I have given to Him) to be as He sees fit, knowing that being in the center of His will is the absolute BEST place to be.
Have you been stubbornly banging your head against the wall? Are you in pain? Are you experiencing many "dark nights of your soul?" Is living painful? What ARE you doing about it? God doesn't intend for your to suffer or live that way. Bring it before Him. He will not turn you away, He will gather you into His arms (as He has done with me) and listen to you and talk with you and soothe your pain. You only need to bring it to Him.
I don't know what the future holds - but I do know that it is better than anything I could have picked out for myself. God's best, usually is. I await it with open arms and an open heart. You should too.