Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Wounded Heart

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4

I see you sitting there. Your legs are crossed; your arms are wrapped around you; your shoulders hunch over just a little as if to protect yourself.

You pretend to be interested in the conversations going on around you, but you rarely make eye contact; and when you smile, it kind of slides out one side of your mouth. You are mostly quiet.

I know you think that no one notices. And for the most part you are probably right. People today are often time so consumed with themselves that they tend not to TRULY see those around them.

But God sees the truth, just as plainly as if you had a red light flashing on your forehead. He sees your heart -- full of hurt upon hurt, upon hurt, upon hurt. You see, He knows your heart.

He sees the pain oozing through the cracks in the wall you've built. He knows what's behind the shutters that hide your eyes and the door that is firmly shut before your heart. He knows those shutters and doors are there, not to keep people out, but to keep the pain hidden inside.

He knows that the reason they are kept so tightly closed is because you're afraid that if you ever let them open, even a crack, you might accidentally unleash a flood of pain and tears that would overwhelm you.

And you're afraid that if you ever opened those restraints you could never get them closed again and you might find out there were no answers or relief for your pain.

But there is relief, there is an answer, there is HOPE! There is a way to trade your pain for joy. There is a way to have healing for the hurts that have wounded you so deeply.

Let me ask you, have you ever been despised and rejected by those close to you? Do you have sorrow in your heart for loss after loss -- grief that doesn't seem to get better?

Jesus has made a way; and its guaranteed effective if you'll just dare to reach out to Him for it. Those aren't just words. It is a fact.

The Bible says that Jesus bore our grief and carried our sorrows (Is. 53:4). It literally means what it says. Think about it. One ordinary day, an ordinary man faced an enormous challenge. That day He was sentenced to die, though He had done no wrong. He was laid down on a wooden cross and a man with a hammer bent over him to pound spikes through His hands. What do you think He thought as He looked over at His hand and anticipated the pain coming in just a few seconds? What would you have done on that day? Would you have walked away? I would have. But Jesus didn't. And there was only one reason. His love was stronger than the pain.

But Jesus' greatest pain was still ahead. As He was lifted up on that cross, in that moment in time, God placed on His shoulders every sin that has ever been committed and all that will ever be committed throughout all of time. Jesus, who had never sinned, suddenly took on Himself the full weight, guilt and condemnation for it all. How do you think He felt about that? While He was fully God, He was fully man. He FELT the literal consequences of all that guilt. And He felt the absolute rejection of His Father for the first time in His life.

You know what else He felt? As an innocent victim of all that sin placed upon Him, He felt the pain you felt when you were hurt or rejected. He felt the pain you felt in that horrible, dark, trauma that you never talk about. He felt every single pain you feel. He LITERALLY bore your grief and carried your sorrow. And He did it to provide you with a way out of your pain.

The path He walked was not quick and easy. And the path He has for you to find healing is not a quick and easy one. But He promises to walk WITH you at every step -- and that is the whole point anyway. When Jesus said He calls us His friends, He means it.

Is Jesus literally your friend? He wants to walk with you through each day and he wants to converse with you about your hurts. You can talk to Him and ask Him questions, and He will answer back. That's why He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us. That's why He's given us His Word. He has promised that the Holy Spirit would be our counselor and lead us into all truth. All we have to do is ASK and LISTEN.

Is there hurt hidden in your heart? I know where the answers are because I've found them myself. But I can't give them to you. I can only point you to the One who wants more than anything to be your dearest FRIEND and comfort you.

Will you dare to reach out and take His hand? Can you trust Him with the secrets of your heart? Will you let Him lead you to healing one day at a time, even though you can't see the tomorrows yet? Will you trust Him when He asks you to open up the doors of your heart?

God wants to heal your wounded heart. The question is only whether you will let Him.

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