Monday, April 12, 2010

Advice for a Hurting Heart

As I sit here writing this, I am sipping on a Dr. Pepper float. Yet as yummy and delicious as this creamy, refreshing drink is, I am still finding it hard to swallow the hurt I experienced earlier this morning. Hence, the reason for this mid-afternoon splurge. Silly as it sounds, I actually hoped this ice cream treat would sweeten the sour feeling I have been carrying around in my heart all day. WRONG!

Why is it when the world hits us and kicks us and bruises our very soul, we head straight back into the world in search of the healing we are so desperately in need of? It makes no sense to me and yet, here I sit with a straw in my mouth, sucking away at this frozen concoction as though my very heart depended on it. No wonder I feel deflated. And taken advantage of. After slurping my way to the bottom of my treat, I am still left with a hurting heart and a loaded question for God.

God, how can I pour out myself so as to be used by YOU without being used by the very one I am pouring myself out to?

I told you it was a loaded question. I wish I could say this is the first time I have sought God for an answer to this life-long dilemma, but it isn't. For most of my life, I have bent over backward to be God's hands and feet to a hurting world, often at my own expense. At times, the outpouring of my heart has been gently received and upheld with sincerest appreciation. Other times, however, my giving heart has been trampled on, greedily taken from, and squandered, with no regret and no shame. Such was the case today. And it hurts.

How can I be used by God without being used?

As a Christian, I suppose we could simply chalk up "being taken advantage of" as an "occupational hazard". It just comes with the title of Christian. After all, we are called to be partakers of Christ's suffering. No one was more used and abused than our precious Lord. And yet, does God really want or expect us to allow others to use our heart for their own selfish gain?

As odd as it may seem, I think God gave me a glimpse into His answer as my husband and I were finishing our lunch today. It was one of those rare days when our schedules coincided and we were able to meet together for a moment and a meal. As my husband reached for the check, he handed me a fortune cookie. While I don't believe in fortune cookies, I do believe, if we have ears to hear, our God can and will speak to us through the events of our day. As I read the words written on the tiny slip of paper hiding in this simple dessert, I tenderly heard the wisdom of my loving Heavenly Father.

It is a silly fish that is caught twice with the same bait.

God has called us to give...to give with our whole heart. However, if after we give, our eyes and our heart are opened to see the true intent of the recipient of our heart, and it is evil in nature, then God would have us learn from this and head in a new direction, away from this abuse. We don't need to fight back. We don't need to retaliate. Most of all, we don't need to go back for more. We simply need to learn from this experience and then, move on.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

As I toss my empty cup and straw into the trash, I delicately place my hurting heart into the nail scarred hands of Jesus. He knows how I feel. He has been there, too. As I release this hurt through the gift of forgiveness, He will bring the healing I need.

Tomorrow is a new day. A brand new day to go out and touch the world with the love of my Heavenly Father. May I never stop being His hands and His feet. May I never let my heart become so calloused it refuses to give. May I always run to my Father when I am hurting. May my heart always rejoice in service to my God.

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully written by such a beautiful heart...what a blessing you are!

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