Come to Me for that. Relief is not in the absence of conflict. It is in the presence of your Master. Come child. Come… your enemies? They will soon scatter, like cockroaches when someone turns on a light. They will scurry and scatter back to the dark corners they crawled from.
(They don’t like The Light!)
You are doing a great work and cannot come down.
Your enemies will always try to get you to “come down” to their level. They know if they can take your focus from what you are doing, the work will stop.
Don’t you see?
That’s the goal.
Come, I want you to outgrow this childish desire to answer every bully’s remark. Many of these remarks are not worthy of attention, or answer. They rob you of precious time and gift.
The battle is mine beloved.
I need you to spend your precious energy doing My will,not your enemy’s.
“… those who rob you shall be robbed; and those attacking you shall be attacked.” Jeremiah 30:16Jeremiah 30:16 English: World English Bible - WEB 16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, everyone of them, shall go into captivity; and those who despoil you shall be a spoil, and all who prey on you will I give for a prey.
I have no idea who “R” is but this guy nailed it when it came to the battle that was often going on inside me.
My faith seems to reside in the “think and be logical” part of my head, while my trust, it lives in the “tender and vulnerable” places in my heart.
All is well, until, they both meet up with “Mr. R” which is a perfect illustration for the troublesome addition of RISK.
When a decision that involves risk comes into play, then the conversational quote from above becomes my inner dialogue—and the battle ensues.
Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, then we must admit that much of our lives and our choices are bound up in risk.
Going for the gusto.
I have always liked Luci Swindoll’s, “Give it the Koo-tash!”
Whatever language you like to couch it in, RISK and FAITH and TRUST are all bound together, like it or not.
But, who doesn’t want to love wildly, passionately, and fearlessly? The rewards are tremendous, yes?
Ah, but so are the risks. Just ask the guy who has crashed and burned and is trying to put the shattered pieces of his heart back together again! Ask him to “trust again” and what sort of answer do you think you will get?
He may have a real battle getting his head and heart to sync up again.
Walking by faith. Taking a bold leap. Both are impossible without risking the heart and trust.
So what are we to do?
The world says you can break all the rules and follow your heart. It will all work out.
But our faith says that though risk is an essential part of living a full and rewarding life, breaking the rules God has put in place for our protection, will definitely break us!
And that is a truth that I can testify to.
Yes, we are to walk by faith, but soberly. We are not to check our brains at the door! Proverbs has a great deal to say about the fool and the wise man.
God wants us to bring our decisions to Him, seek His wisdom by trusting His word, and wait for clear direction.
Seeds of Trust #3: To find true hope you have to go the distance between the head and the heart.
I think it might be difficult for some of us to connect to those we consider BROKEN if we have experienced “breaking” in only minor or irritating ways.
For instance, if you are pitching a fit because you just broke another nail? Trust me. You and I are on opposite sides of the Looking Glass.
When I say “broken” I see smoking rubble and bombed out buildings in my soul. Yet, even I don’t “see” smoking rubble the same way a woman fleeing Syria or Iraq would, right?
Does that help?
We, meaning we in The Church, can often trivialize people’s pain by our own casual approach to what we do not understand. My “brokenness” may be very different from what you have experienced. You can think you are “aware” when perhaps you are actually clueless. I have often heard well-meant heartfelt messages from those who I believe really did mean well, but there was a kind of authenticity or depth that was missing, simply due to a shallower understanding or experience of the subject.
Unfortunately, what people who haven’t survived gross abuse don’t know can add new wounds to the souls who have.
If you haven’t been through deep and dark water or been on intimate terms with Evil, the deeply wounded and broken will know it, because a crushed heart covered in the scars of an intimate acquaintance with Evil is not something you can head-fake.
I also believe there is a kind of inborn intolerance, an unknowing or condescending heart will reveal. Not to intentionally be unkind perhaps, but simply because of profound ignorance.
I don’t say this to be mean, but I believe it is necessary to know, Hearts that have bled from deep wounds have an internal radar that will register any FEAR or SHAME tactics immediately. You may not mean it to sound that way… (Or you might, depending on your motives?) either way, I just want you to understand where I’m coming from when I ask,
“When have you looked into the eyes of your Abuser and seen the pure pleasure that they derive from inflicting new pain? New horror? New terror? New shame? When have you heard pure hatred screaming at you; seen its face contorted in ugly rage inches from your face? When have you seen them smile as they slice and shred your soul again, intentionally carving new wounds?”
There is Real-Evil in this world and some of us have looked helplessly many times into its cold dead eyes. That is a “knowledge” you can’t fake or forget. And, that experience changes HOW you view BROKEN—and how you respond.
Yes, Christ and the sheer power of His love and grace poured out on His cross, can overcome Evil’s power to make one cringe in terror or run and hide. And yes, forgiveness poured from old wounds will lift the broken and crushed heart, and bring it back to resurrected Life. Absolutely!
But, that miracle of love and forgiveness in itself is no guarantee that Evil will surrender its hold on the Abuser, or that the Abuser will magically choose to change their ways.
The Abuser is also free to choose and many choose to continue their abusive ways. (Perhaps due to their own self-loathing?) I don’t know. I have never understood my Abusers. What I do know is that I have been on the receiving end of my Abuser’s resistant intolerance for love and their entitlement to their own cruelty.
I have loved my Abusers, believing that my love would change them; cause them to make changes in their behavior. It did not. Love for Christ and our devotion to Him does not mean we will be able to reconcile ourselves to those who steadfastly refuse to surrender their hatred and destructive behaviors.
Yes, we must forgive them for their past abuse. Yes, we must pray for our enemies and those who willfully choose to continue to abuse our love and trust. But I do not believe we have to be reconciled to continue in a close relationship or in proximity with those who embrace Evil and refuse to surrender their deep desire to destroy us.
I also believe there are sincere Hearts that have not bled at the hands of that kind of Evil, who don’t understand this. They haven’t seen this for themselves—felt it or heard it—and so they just don’t KNOW.
I used to succumb to critics who would loudly proclaim “broken” as “incapable.”
All those in The Church who are so intolerant, unable, or unknowing, because I thought they were right.
I figured that they knew their stuff!
When those dear souls would criticize my tears; my fragility; my brokenness, I would listen to them.
When they would criticize the broken saying, “You can’t speak, or teach, or reach, unless you toughen up, put on your wax lips, and smile… your gratitude will fix it all.” I would inwardly wince! As if doing all those things hadn’t ever been tried by the abused who also love God and their abusers!
I think those who advocate such simplistic answers have no clue the damage their naivete inflicts.
The abused and broken don’t want band-aids. They don’t work! And I don’t believe the broken want another slick-song-n-dance-schtick of:
“I got it ALL TOGETHER and ain’t it great BEING ME?”
How many times have I heard a speaker “speak to me” just like that, and I would think, “That will NEVER be me.” because I felt too, broken; too much of a mess, and saw no way out of my terror-ridden situation!
Not today. Now I believe hurting people just want real with all its awkward and messy flaws.
In ancient days if a guy was making and selling pottery, and it came out of the fire with cracks, they would rub a little wax into those cracks so they wouldn’t show.
(I mean, who deliberately buys a defective pot, right?)
I guess people got wise to the practice, though. (People eventually do.) So among the potters, the term “sincere” was born, meaning: Without wax.
Without wax, yeah. I’ll take my books and sermons and songs without all the shiny wax, please. Just give me real.
Remember what Jesus compared the “religious professionals” of His day too? Vipers. White-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones! When He confronted “the money-changers” in His temple, He made a whip and drove them out! It doesn’t sound like nine bars of “smile, smile, smile” does it? No wonder they hated Him. He chose to hang with the nobodies. Sinners. Prostitutes. Tax collectors and smelly fishermen—He sought them out! The Broken. The failures. The outcasts. (Yeah.) The Son of God said to all of us messy-misfits,
“Make Mine Broken!”
The professing-professionals I once knew used to “help me” feel real-unqualified. Told me, “I had to get my act together.” if I wanted to be the real-thing—before I opened my mouth.
What I believe they just didn’t get? Nine miles of bad road is supposed to change you. Rearrange you. Jesus uses UNDONE as a big part His transformation process.
The wilderness-furnace is meant to remove the wax and reveal the cracks—’cause we’ve all got ’em!
I hope anyone who reads my stuff can see ALL my flaws. (They’re there.) Every bump on that bad road I’ve been down has done its worst.
But, when you see my faults and failures, I hope you see one thing more…
I hope you see the glorious Light of Jesus shining through those broken places, because He is The One that makes all the difference, in my faults, and in yours; His Love shining through ALL our brokenness.
So let’s let His word to us, be our last Word:
But God chose the foolishthings of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:271 Corinthians 1:27 English: World English Bible - WEB 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;
I rarely got any sort of an answer so I stopped asking.
(But I confess, I never stopped wondering.)
I’ve heard good Christians tell me that “THE Answer” was that I had to learn to live with all my unanswered questions.
(That didn’t help much either.)
I don’t believe a broken heart is about getting answers anyway.
I believe mostly it’s about what Ann Voskamp said in her book, The Broken Way—it’s about communion. It’s about wanting someone to come close in our pain. Feel close. It is the aloneness we feel in our brokenness that magnifies all our other stuff.
For Prodigals this is especially acute, for the communion, they most desperately need—is also the thing they most fear.
Where do they go then?
What do you do with your wounded heart, when your once “safe place” has become to you the image of Habakkuk’s Vineyard?
Where do you begin to look for a PLACE of healing and hope and strength to believe again?
Is there such a place?
There are many prodigals who would not hesitate to answer a loud and resounding, “No!” Especially if you are presenting today’s Church as your answer to that Safe Place!
They’ve been there—bought the tee shirt.
They’ll gladly show you the blood-stains, pointing out all the bullet holes!
(What do you say to that one then?)
That Outcast who looks at The Church and sees a carefully camouflaged Enemy lurking there?
Do you say, “Just trust us? We’re different. We’re the REAL thing!”
(And if they’ve heard all that before?)
If they know The Church in their past is guilty of shooting it’s wounded?
I chose Molly because I wanted a nickname for Martha. “O” is because I aspire to become an Overcomer each day, whether I feel like it, or not.
And… Jesus gets every bit of the credit for any overcoming ’cause I still struggle some days, and yeah, the tears still gush at times when I wish they wouldn’t.
What’s that old saying: Pain is universal but misery is optional? It’s true. We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we will ultimately respond.
Only we decide on the who we will choose to become.
Let me add here, I have had it easy, real easy compared to what Believers have suffered on the other side of the world. Yes, there have been wounds. I have scars. So what, right? Nobody gets a picnic. Live a few years and life will teach you—were all messy and broken. And yes, I still get a little prickly, especially if I even think I’m about to get hammered from a pulpit. But I’m in church and that’s a flat-out miracle!
So now, I advocate for you—the broken and discarded.
Mainly because I know—it wasn’t Jesus that discarded you or pushed you away.
You may believe you have good reasons to be mad at God or distrusting of Him.
I can understand that, but you don’t—not really.
Welcome to the human race.
We’re all of us, every single one, sinful and selfish.
Like pain that truth is universal.
I don’t know where you find yourself today, or why you have chosen to leave the Church, or at the very least stay safely outside the fold, keeping to the frayed fringes.
I don’t know if you find yourself “wandering on every high hill” as Ezekiel says, but my hope is that this book will come alongside you wherever you are, bringing with it some real understanding for what you’re feeling.
It’s Mercy that washes wounds and Hope that brings the bandages.
I hope you find both here.
Broken Vessels are priceless in God’s eyes.
He sees your brokenness as an asset to His Kingdom.
You are not a liability.
He wants you to come home.
We need you, and yes, I know there are some in The Church that are phony and meaner than a pack of junkyard dogs.
But there are GOOD people, too, and you are missed.
We are the weaker for your being AWOL.
We need you!
(Jesus and I think it’s high time someone told you so.)