Let down gently?

February 23, 2007

How many times have you been hurt or felt let down?

I’ve put my trust in human beings but obviously when i do, i take a risk.  Many times i’ve shared aspects of my life, made myself vulnerable and opened up.  Opening oneself to another is essentially taking the risk to open a door to getting hurt. 

People often say it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.  I think of the friendships i’ve had over the years where i’ve felt damaged or mistreated, but i’m glad i took the risk to get close to those friends even if in some cases i was knocked along the way.

Life is a learning curve and i believe we can receive God’s love in a special and different way when in a place of vulnerability and hurt – when we’ve felt in despair we can let Him minister to our pain rather than being bitter, and in so doing be drawn deeper into His heart.

Friendships are amazing, even when hurt occurs, because there’s something beautiful about two beings, two of God’s creation taking a risk, and trying to imitate the bond of love between the ‘persons’ of the Trinity.

God doesn’t give up on us and is always there for us no matter what we feel about Him.  He won’t let us down, He doesn’t want to hurt us, but Love us to the fullness of Love that we are capable of receiving. 

We need a balance in life between the VIP’s (Very Inspiring People) and the VDPs (Very Draining People) so that we may both give and receive from others, and in doing so draw each other closer to Christ.

Matters of the Heart

February 5, 2007

If something in your life is of God then Satan won’t be happy so will try to confuse you.

When something which is precious to you becomes a chore or a struggle, be encouraged that this is possibly because you’re in exactly the right place to be maximumly effective and fruitful.

Matters close to the heart can cause extremes: much pain and ecstatic joy.  The heart is a complex place where we talk of emotions originating, the place we get hurt and offended, the place where we take risks, the place people can hit us at the deepest level.  One area of heart searching i’ve come to realise many young Christians battle with is the question of, ‘Where does friendship end and relationship start?’.

Remembering all the way back to my University days i recall one afternoon when a Christian sister of mine (now married with a child)  came out with me for coffee and a chat.  She shared how all the male Christian friends in her life were so wonderful that she’d be happy if God called her to marry any of them!!

At the same time as discerning who might be her future spouse this lovely woman of God was trying to work out whether God might have her assigned for a life of celibacy.  There were so many thoughts my peers went through in those days with regards to their vocational journey…  to help her quest someone suggested that to know who your lifelong partner will be is to say, ‘could i live without this person?’.

Essentially i believe God calls us to the places where we’ll flourish most, but that doesn’t mean there will be no struggle or temptation, even once you’ve made a decision.  The hardships in marriage, the hardships in a life of celibacy are to hone you into a more beautiful diamond, knocking off the rough edges, making you reflect God’s love more.

If you’re struggling with your vocation, your work, or any relationship in your life, rest assured that God will use it to make you more like Him… for He Himself went through trials and temptations from Satan who wanted Him to go ‘off course’ and not receive the prize laid out for Him! 

Don’t let Satan steal the gifts God has for you!  Don’t give up!

Love til it hurts!

February 1, 2007

I was chatting to a friend about the words ‘Love until it hurts’, which i think are rightly attributed to Mother Teresa. 

She of course is the lady who spent most of her life tending to those that most people chose to avoid: the ‘unclean’!  In years gone by lepers would’ve been total outcasts in society, they had to ring a bell when they were coming down the street so people would know to flee.  They were avoided in some respect for medical reasons i.e. that no one wanted to contract what they had.  However lepers, like all people, are made for love: to be loved and give love. 

If someone at your church smells or is unpopular, would you avoid them, not wanting to be associated with them? 

Put yourself in the position of being lonely, feeling ugly and unwanted -how blessed would you feel if someone took time to show you some interest and care?  Maybe there’s a mum at school about whom others gossip, maybe an awkward person in your prayer group people partly ignore…

Mother Teresa chose to ignore what others thought, and even her own selfish desires, giving herself to the service of others, even though it was a risk.

We are called not to have favourites: “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes comes in.  If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes… have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (from James 2:1-4)

Treat EVERYONE as you would wish to be treated, even if it means dying to your own desires and wants i.e. even if it hurts.

Gossiping Goose

January 22, 2007

Words are powerful.  A simple ‘yes’ can result in a couple spending the rest of their lives together.  A simple ‘no’ can result in someone being told they haven’t got the job.  A ‘maybe’ in any situation can fuel confusion and fear.

It hurts alot when i hear people being spoken of badly.

Why do we humans feel the need to gossip and talk about others in a derogatory manner?  Is it to build ourselves up and present ourselves as better than others?  Is it because we feel insecure about who we are?

Today’s challenge: Say something positive to those you meet, and precede every word of negativity or criticism with something uplifting.  And ask yourself WHY you are going to say something before you say it.  THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!

Loneliness

January 8, 2007

It has been brought to my attention lately that there are ALOT of lonely people in the world, and sometimes it can be the people you look at and think have everything sorted with a rocking social life who feel alone.  Pastors can feel alone, young people can feel alone, parents can feel alone, old people can feel alone…

If you are one of the number i’m talking about then i have three things to say: 1) Don’t be ashamed of loneliness, 2) It’s not necessarily your fault,  3) There will come a time when you are lonely no more.

Loneliness is something which can hit everyone at one time or another.  We can be lonely when there is no one is around or lonely when there are lots of people in our lives.  You can belong to a great church, have a caring family and people you meet with socially on a regular basis, yet can feel an ‘outsider’, or like no one really wants to know you beneath the surface.

To be honest i’m not sure why i’m posting on this.  I just want to share my favourite thought: there is a rainbow after the storm!  There have been times in my life when i’ve thought things can’t change, when i’ve thought i must be unlikeable.  I promise you with my life that whatever you think about yourself, you ARE likeable, in fact you are loveable and would make an amazing friend if only people had the time to stop and realise.

Some people use blogging to make friends, living in an almost virtual world.  Others watch alot of TV or films to enter into that as a distraction.  We can try escape from the loneliness in many ways, but those ways are only like sticking a plaster (do you call them ‘band aid’s’ in the US?) on the wound.

For anyone who’s struggling today i want to extend to you a ‘virutal hug’, whether you’re a huggy kinda person or not, we all need to know someone cares. 

A useful exercise in healing any hurts in the area of loneliness: Close your eyes.  Imagine a place you’d like to be.  Then imagine Jesus walking up to you and sitting with you.  What would you say to Him?  What would He say to you? Spent time telling Him how you feel and listening to His reply.