It has been said that time heals everything, but in fact, it would be better said that in time, things heal. Like a physical wound, healing time differs depending on the type of wound and process needed for complete healing.
I was talking to a friend recently about last year and how it has affected so many. I am sure if you surveyed a group of people, you would get a variety of answers regarding this past year, or as I prefer to describe it, this past season. I am sure there were ups and downs for many, but indeed, there were challenges. For some, there were great challenges and even greater loss.
When we experience hurt and pain, it is easy to go into protective mode and guard your heart. Guarding your heart in it of itself is not a bad thing. In Proverbs 4:23 we are told to guard our heart above all else. That is a powerful statement. But, what happens when guarding your heart becomes a hardening of the heart?
A couple of years before I met my husband, I was in a relationship that didn’t end so well. I went from preparing for my wedding that was only a few short weeks away to suddenly having to call the entire thing off. After having invested so much time into that relationship, I made sure that I was going to guard my heart and protect myself from ever falling into the possibility of that happening again. Guard my heart I did. Fast forward a year or so later and I meet the man that would be my husband. I give him a lot of credit because I made him work to get to know me. I never called him even once during our dating time and kept a safe distance, making sure he didn’t get too close. Bless his heart for his persistence (safe to say it paid off).
During this time, there was one Sunday when I was attending service and my Pastor at the time was givng an altar call for those who felt they needed to guard their heart. When he came up to pray for me, I told him it wasn’t that I needed my heart guarded, it was that I had guarded my heart so much that I didn’t know how to let love in again. My intentions and reasons for protecting my heart were pure but, in doing so, I had allowed my heart to grow cold and grow hard. In order for me to pursue a healthy relationship I had to allow love to come back in.
There are things that Lord allows us to experience because He wants us to have a disdain for them. He wants us to not just turn the other was or simply not like something, He wants us to have disdain for them…a true dislike. He wants us to have an uncompromising dislike. He wants us to have disdain for sin and sinful habits. He will sometimes allow us to go through difficult situations, times or seasons not because He wants to hurt us, but because He wants us to have His heart on the matter.
There is a fine line between disdain and bitterness, distain and a critical spirit. There is a fine line between a guarded heart and a hardened heart. Get mad at the sin. Get mad at the hurt, the situation, the loss. Allow your self time for healing and restoration at whatever pace that looks like for you. Just be careful not to close your heart in the process.
In Matthew 24:12 it says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”. The passion version reads, “There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold”. I don’t know what your last season brought you, but don’t let it steal your joy, realtionship, calling or God given promises. Most of all, don’t let it rob you of your fellowship with the Lord.
Even now in this new year, don’t let all that you see going on in our nation and otherwise allow you to grow cold. Don’t let broken trust by man divide unbroken trust with God. He is our healer, inside and out, physical, spiritual and emotional. He is the filler of gaps and repairer of breaches. He knows what you need.
If you find yourself in a place of coldness or guardedness (is that a word?), be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for protecting yourself. Instead, take your hardened guarded heart and turn it into the One who knows exactly what to do with it.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26
I pray today that your heart would be softened so you are able once again to first receive the perfect love of Christ and then, receive whatever else He has for you. I pray that any experiences the Lord allowed you to have so that you would have disdain for what he does would be a motivator to push forward in all that He has for you and no longer serve as a stumbling block holding you back.
I declare that today you let love back in. Hope back in. Promise back in. Healthy relationships back in. Intimacy with the Father back in. And whatever else you have need of back in.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20 NLT
What the enemy hoped would destroy you in your last season is the very thing God is going to use to catapult you in this season for you and those around you. Let Love in!