Observing the world from the comfort of my own space is risk-free. I can stay within my walls.
The photo for today is from a castle I recently visited in Austria. The walls are so thick and for good reason. That is a part of what protects. The window can provide the opportunity to view what is happening, though it makes it difficult to engage.
Hurt people hurt people. And that is when walls are built and reinforced. If the wounds are never dealt with, simple barriers become a fortress. Living within a fortress doesn’t allow for much engagement with the world. It is a maze of stone cold passageways designed to protect the heart. But it also doesn’t allow a heart to grow in its capacity to love. Unfortunately, that is a form of captivity.
I am thankful that Jesus came to set the captives free. I am thankful for His healing, redemption, forgiveness and His heart-soothing love.
Come, Lord Jesus!
It’s been raining here in southern Indiana since Thursday.
Sometimes it is a light rain and sometimes it is pelting and intense, but it
has been pretty regular for days. It always feels right to me when there is
rain during this part of Holy Week. It symbolizes the tears and anguish during
the actual week as the events unfolded.
It also represents my own tears:
- For the things I have done.
- For the things I have left undone.
- For the times I intentionally caused pain to others because of my own pain.
- For the loss.
- For the shame.
- For the grief.
- For the profound sadness.
The wounds and scars of Jesus remind me of my own, at times.
Of course, He endured His for me, for all of us. He had no sin but was sin for
us. My wounds and scars are just as real, but some were caused by my own sin in
addition to the injury caused by others. Jesus takes on sin that isn’t His. He wipes those tears and takes my guilt and
shame as His own. His wounds are Holy and allow me to stand in front of the Holiest.
And then the tears fall again:
- For the forgiveness.
- For the relief.
- For the thankfulness.
- For the love.
- For the saving grace.
All the tears for all the reasons.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” [Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV]
May you fix your eyes on Jesus — Sunday is coming!
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:48-50
Have you ever been connected with someone who flattered you with kisses (or something similar) only to have them turn on you later?
If you have ever experienced it you know it is quite unpleasant. When I have been in this type of situation I wonder where was my discernment? Why was I vulnerable to fall for something like that?
Who does that to people?
But knowing that this happened to Jesus helps. Betrayal happens.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
Of course, our betrayal experiences do not compare with those of Jesus but it is good to know that pain we feel – He can relate. And God can use it for a greater good.
The sooner you can forgive a betrayer the better off you will be. But just don’t expect that to be something you can do without Jesus. He is the one who makes forgiveness possible.
On the Road,
“Wounded people wound people.”
Ever notice when people are in pain they lash out at others? They may not even recognize or admit they are in pain but you can see it in how they poke, pester, and provoke others. If someone in your life likes to inflict wounds on others, start by praying for them. If you have been poking at people please consider why that is and get to the root. Pray. Find a trusted friend. Work at not wounding others when you are in pain. There are other ways to work it out!
PrayerPoint ~ The Mouth
I speak up when I shouldn’t and don’t when I should. When really frustrated or angry I have used words like weapons. I am guilty of saying things that are true, but not helpful or necessary. And if I have really blown it, I relive my verbal sin in the dark of the night and feel sick in the pit of my stomach.
Just because I think it doesn’t mean I should say it.
We have all been hurt by someone else’s words. And intentionally or not, we have all wounded others. I try to give a lot of grace to others in this department because I know just how often I make mistakes myself. I find if I just take some extra time before I respond in an unkind way, the moment often passes, I say nothing and I have retained my integrity. I sleep better on those nights.
Heavenly Father, My words can tear down and they can also build-up. Help me to think more soberly before I speak and measure my words carefully. Let the words that come out of my mouth be encouraging and edifying. May my words be praise for You and the works You have done in my life! In Jesus’ Name…
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 NIV
Contemplating the words I say,