“God can change the composition of a human heart. He can. God can transform a hateful heart into a loving heart. God can transform an apathetic heart into a strongly caring heart. God can bring passionate inclusivity into a heart that has only known passionate exclusivity.” (Pursuing Spiritual Transformation)
I’ve been thinking a lot about life… the fragility of it, the way our lives interconnect with one another, the impacts made, how our words and lives have the power to build up or tear down. So much is happening in the world, many lives have been lost. And a lot is happening in the lives of those around us. People are hurting and don’t feel as though they can share because of how others might respond. There is fear about the uncertainties, worries over health issues, and wanting to protect those we love from whatever pain we can. I’ve realized that some people are able to hand worries over or dismiss them easily, while others seem to get hung up in the intricacies of the “what ifs” and “why now”. We’re shaped by our pasts, by the rejection as well the successes. We’re molded by the experiences we’ve had and the lessons we’ve learned. The scars we have are reminders of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. Sometimes we’re able to look back in humility and see that God has walked with us through some of the darkest and hardest times. Others we struggle to remember what He has done… the blessings He has provided, the people He has put in our path and the perfect words said at the precise moment they needed to be heard. We forget the hands that have provided comfort and helped to guide us, the arms that have held us and provided security. Hurt has a way of making one focused on the wrong things, the immediate emotion and feeling. It can be all consuming… mind numbing, disabling. God has given us freedom from it, but it’s a learned process to hand it over to Him. We have to be willing to give up the control we don’t actually have and trust Him with it all. Nothing is beyond His grasp or His reach… no health condition, no broken heart, no world crisis. He governs the same today as He did on that first day. He knows each of us in a way that no one here ever will - the way we think, the way we talk, the things that make us smile and the things the overflow our hearts. I’ve struggling a long time with being as sensitive as I am… the fact that something seemingly insignificant can hurt my feelings and cause tears to fall. He knows all the things that break my heart, and the things I wish I could change about me. But I think that same sensitivity helps me to love others better. It helps me to see things from someone else’s perspective, makes me want to prevent that same hurt that I have felt, and I think it helps me to love deeper. I have so far to go, so many things to learn. But I am thankful that He has given me a tender heart that really cares about other people, and that He has given me a strong desire to make sure that people know they are special and loved. We aren’t guaranteed any time on this earth, not tomorrow or even the next second. Make sure that you tell people how much they mean to you, pick your battles and don’t let the small stuff get in the way of the important stuff. God created us for fellowship and relationships… to walk through this life with other people and enjoy the blessings of His perfect timing and provision. Let’s encourage one another – stand alongside those we care about and hold fast when they can’t. Let’s be FOR each other. Let’s pray for one another like we won’t get another opportunity to. Let’s say the things that reinforce love and hold our tongues when no good can come from it. Let’s love like there’s not tomorrow. Let’s have no regret… make sure those in your life know how much you love them today and every day, don’t allow the important words to remain left unsaid. May God change our hearts to simply love in all its capacities and let go of the rest. And may these familiar words from 1 Corinthians find new and renewed meaning. They can know us by our love….
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
a few holiday laughs
1 day ago