The world is filled with people who are struggling in daily life. People experience; divorce, the unexpected loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, the loss of homes, and jobs. Without community when this happens the struggle and the pain multiplies as the person begins to feel alone. In fact they may intentionally isolate themselves, from people. When this happens those who see this going on should speak up and bring the person into community.
Not long ago God began to tear down a few walls in my life that were built around my heart that I did not know existed. He used many hurting people, to break through my protective shield. Coming out of this state was not easy, because when we finally let down the walls and let other people in we are opening ourselves up to hurt.
It is true that hurting people hurt others, but those of us on the receiving end, must be careful that we don't become one of the casualties of the sharp tongues of the hurting. For years I listened to and assisted hurting people, so my protection for a few years was to stay away from the hurting, to learn how to handle the hurts of others in a different way.
Most people who are hurting do not realize that the words they are speaking to others are covered with barbed wire. Those of us who are the listening ears and Pastors for the hurting, must learn to be authentic, transparent, and open, and at the same time guard our hearts. It is a challenge when we are on the receiving end of the barbs. We must ask God to give us wisdom, discernment and understanding so we do not get sucked into the undertow of anothers pain.
Jesus brought people out of their pain, he did not crawl into their pain, stay there and allow their pain to pull him off of his mission. He loved them. cared for them, and even rebuked them. His mission was about people, but he could not help people if he wallowed in their pain with them. Jesus is about healing. He is about restoration. He is about redemption.
This week I am hurting a bit from a few words that were thrown at me with a tongue covered with barbs. Yet, I know that God calls me to forgive, and so I do. He calls me to be Jesus with skin on, and at the same time go to him with my own pain. He is the great physician.
A precious one went home to be with Jesus a few days ago, a friend was in a serious accident, I waited for biopsy results for a small child, messages and notes poured in and the relational pressure seemed to be pouring into my life from many directions.
Yet, as I sit here tonight I am doing ok, because in my journey of listening, giving guidance and praying with and for hurting people, I go to God and pour out my heart in prayer for the people that contact me. I am transparent with my pain in prayer before God and I connect with a friend,. She is willing to listen to me, we listen to one another, and she does not push me away.
I am comforted in knowing that;
Isaiah 43:2New International Version (NIV)
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze
As Always, Serving with you,
#TheRelationshipProject Where ALL people are important.
What a week! Have you ever experienced a time in life, knowing that you are to dig in and work, work work! This week is one of those weeks for me. I would love to go somewhere to sit in a chair outside and look at the beautiful blue sky.
Instead this week, in my area there is no blue sky. Instead it is rainy and cloudy. Since the weather is bad, it is not bothering me much that I am inside and preparing for the unknown.
Have you experienced times in your life when you cannot prove it by what you see, but you feel it is necessary to finish all projects that are on your desk? I am in this type of season. It feels as if I am being pushed along to be prepared for something that will be happening in the future.
I have no idea what is waiting for me in the future, only that I am moving full speed ahead to finish everything that is on my desk.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isa. 30:21 NIV
This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isa. 48:17
Listen closely friends and follow the still small voice. He does not always reveal everything that is up ahead, but when we listen closely and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be prepared when the "what" arrives.
Nancy J. Leader of "The Relationship Project."