When You Just Need Time to Heal

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Today it rains.

The yard is undergoing this slow and steady transformation from its sleepy subdued self, to its verdant green, waking up, alive self.

We’ve been sick but we’re all better now. The stomach bug took every last one of us out. At one point, I was laying on a sleeping bag in the yard, watching the kids play when I realized that all you can do with sickness is get better. You can’t worry about the laundry. Or dishes. Or muster up enough energy to clean all the messes up. You just have to be okay with making messes and sitting still and listening to the life around you until you heal.

I told God that it was funny how much I must get my worth and value from all my “doing.” Because when I couldn’t do anything, I found it necessary to have these chats with myself that the day wasn’t wasted. The wind still blew. The little green buds on the trees still burst forth. The dog still dug holes in the yard and the kids had a merry time scooping up the dirt and loading it in their dump truck to carry off to the sand box.

I told myself that a little sickness isn’t all that bad for us humans. It humbles us. And if we never got sick, we’d never know how kind our friends could be. Thankfully Brent and I took turns being sick. I went first. So, he fed the kids and got me some Sprite and a cold wash cloth and talked gentle to me.

Then it was his turn and I took care of the kids and got him some yogurt and heated up the corn bag and kissed his head. That’s the interesting thing about hardship in the world. If we never went through difficult things, we couldn’t comprehend mercy. Or feel another person’s compassion.

Speaking of healing, I wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you guys as my church. The people who I have the incredible privilege of ministering to. Tending to. Nourishing with words. I love to tend to people’s souls. It’s one of my favorite things. And so here, in this space, I aim to do that. To be as honest as I can with you, while being as helpful as possible.

I want to give you my best. Last week I felt mostly like a failure as a human being. (I won’t go into the details why, but I know that you have struggles too, and so you know the feeling.) The good news is, I made my way back to Jesus and He sent me multiple rescues and I’m seeing His grace over and over again, repeatedly, so much so that I can’t deny that He is loving and runs after us.

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Today, I want to talk to the ones with sore hearts.

Some of you have hearts that are badly bruised. You barely made it through another week, but somehow you did, and so we celebrate that. I’m thinking if you’re reading here, you probably know Jesus. Or at least, you’re aware of Him. He’s on your radar. His Presence is a reality to you. And you’ve been friends with His followers for some time. Some of you have rubbed shoulders with Christians and you’ve seen the ugly in them. You’ve even been wrongfully mistreated by them.

You had thought that the way of Jesus led to the full flourishing of people’s souls. But, you’ve seen too many times when a person, even a Christian person, is promoted to a pedestal and then grows in power and popularity, only to end up abusing the very gifts that were meant to be used to help and serve others.

I need to tell you this, as you look around the room on any given Sunday. (Or across the office or as you browse the internet, scanning headlines and tweets and blogs from fellow believers or popular Christian leaders.) There’s something that you and I really need to understand about each other.

We’re all painfully broken. Every last one of us.

I’ve been blessed to rub shoulders with some of the most stellar human beings on the planet. These people love Jesus and they love people and you know what I’ve found? They’re all messed up.

Every one of us cares a little too much about what other people think of us. Every one of us wants to be loved. And accepted. Respected. And admired. But, we also know that we don’t actually deserve it. We all want to get it right and yet we all fail. Daily.

There’s something else important for us to grasp in relation to Jesus. If Jesus had to wait until we finally had our act together before He could bless us, then He could never bless us. If Jesus had to wait until we were perfectly loving and humble and self-sacrificial before He would let us work with Him, then none of us could ever work with Him.

Jesus is ridiculously patient with us. And generous. And not just us. He’s patient with them, too. The ones who do stupid, screwed up things. He knows how ugly we can be. How sometimes we stand there on the brink of utter rebellion (and disaster) and He sends us rescues, time and time and time again.

My friends, I don’t want to make excuses for the crud that you’ve been dealt or the injustices that you’ve witnessed or the hurtful things that you’ve had to carry. Those things are real problems and they need to be tended to. The reason why it hurts so much is because you care so deeply. I don’t want you to stop caring deeply.

I want to affirm you for letting yourself feel, even though it sucks. Thank you for not living cold and calculated and bitter. And for letting yourself grieve the pain of all that’s wrong and broken and lost.

My prayer for you today is that you can get your bruised up heart to Jesus. Jesus, who came as a King to an upside down Kingdom. Jesus, who didn’t slay those who lived in opposition to Him, but bled and died for them on a cross. He carved the way for us to live remarkably transparent about the flaws we see around us.

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Sin is this virus that has infected every human heart. When we’re honest, we can admit it. How the darkness isn’t just out there—always out there in others. It’s found its way within us too. There are so many hard parts to being human and this is one of them. People keep failing us. And we fail them.

We have to wrestle it out of us, but we don’t wrestle alone. Look. There stands a Redeemer, a pure and spotless Son of Man who wrestles with us. (Genesis 32:22-32) He doesn’t kick us while we’re down, though. He blesses us.  He also bends low and writes love letters to us in the dust. (See John 8:7-11)  He who has perfect authority to forgive sins, sets our tethered up souls free.

So sit still in the sunshine, my loves. Admire all the green and growing things around you. Jesus gives you time to heal. Remember, your worth and value don’t come from all your doing. But from simply being. In Him.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

 

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