My post-root canal pain was on and off – and when on,it was debilitating. I was led to ask forgiveness for something I did that contributed to a heated discussion with my husband about an hr earlier. As soon as I did, all pain in my mouth disappeared & has only shown traces of itself since. Some would say that was just a coincidence and the meds “kicking in”, but they should’ve done that long before. As I cont’d to seek The Lord and humble myself about my argument, position, & attitude, he showed me that my added words were only inflaming the issue…just what was happening around my tooth. I was not infecting, but my words caused inflammation which caused emotional pain.
luke 6:27, 28; romans 12:20, 21
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” “…if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head…Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
raise the bar:
we are “set apart”! we are sanctified. we can’t afford to treat people who’ve have done us wrong (or for that matter, like mike guglielmucci, shamed the Christian faith), how the world would treat them. then what makes us any different than the world!? for Christ’s sake! literally. for the sake of Jesus, who gave up his throne in heaven and eventually gave up his dignity & his very life-blood. for the sake & glory of Jesus who forgave us our every sin, we need to strive as one body to live above the standards of your average joe…even your average Christian joe.
one major way we can do this is by forgiving beyond what we think we can, by praying. how about somethin’ like, “Lord, i wanna see _____ the way you see them. even though they did this, give me compassion for them & help me see past my own hurt. give me your eyes for them. your heart for them. forgive them.” or if you can’t muster up all that with sincerity, then heck, start with a simple, “God, show ____ your love today”. what if two weeks of that consistent prayer leads to actually meaning it…which leads to real forgiveness…which leads to freedom and maybe even restoration and salvation?! itellyouwhat. get ready to take the limits off of His blessings when you act in obedience.
Q 4 U:
when’s the last time you blessed someone who cursed (or mistreated) you? do you think it’s tougher, the closer that person is to you?
we’ve all been judged or shamed. we remember the pain. or do we? does the extent to which we give grace to others depend on how long ago it was given to us?
wait! this one’s a long post, but it’s a good thinker, hang with me here!!
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Gal 4:4-7 (NLT)
i love how God sent his Son to earth, spoke to him as his Son, & treated him as a Son should be treated. now we have the awesome privilege of making that comparison with our own children. we can see so much more clearly how to parent our own, and even more importantly, how to view ourselves as the precious, priceless children of God we are. when we hurt ourselves, are hit w/sickness or feel pain by another (in any way), he is immediately there to pick us up, squirt some bactine, give us a bandage & a hug if we will dare to reach for him. ok, not literally, but at least thru the body of Christ if you’re plugged in somewhere & absolutely thru His Word. but so often when a natural father disappoints, we attribute those failures and faults to our heavenly Father. why?!?! i guess doubt creeps in…squelching our faith in any kind of father figure. with every shattered hope, from sexual abuse to never receiving a hug; from an unfulfilled promise of a phone call to a no-show during the birth of your daughter, comes an opportunity to do one of two things. either
a.) build walls of protection to no longer “feel” hurt (which like denial, never really works) or
b.) dare to reach with faith as a child in a desperate state, for our Father in heaven.
hmmm…case in point ~ it’s 2:18am & my daughter, who’s fighting a fever & goopy droopy eyes just woke up crying. it was only natural for me to get up at the sound of her cry and go to her, give her medicine, pray & rock her in my arms. i wonder…how much more does our own Creator & Saviour long for that closeness every time we cry.
i’m learning (from books by john bevere & also nancy missler), that a danger in building protective walls is while they seem to keep hurt out, they also keep love in. in order to love as God does, unconditionally, we h a v e to make ourselves vulnerable. if we hold anything against them, we for our own growth need to say to our earthly father figures (if only in our minds), ‘you may have wounded me. it’s not okay, but i will still love you, because now that i am a child of God, i aim to love as he loves. completely opposite of natural love…it is this new agape love. the kind that is not selfish. expects nothing in return. gives until there is nothing left to give…& wants to then give more. nothing you can do can weaken…or strengthen it.’
it’s really hard for me to understand this love. the more i think about it, the more i want to crouch in a corner & hide. it seems like just about everything i do has some kind of ulterior, self-seeking motive. i used to hate the phrase ‘oh, get over it’, but it’s starting to become my friend these days. i so don’t want to be that easily offended person people talk about & tip toe around.
because we let the sins of an earthly father figure offend us to the point of resentment, trust seeps out the cracks & our love grows increasingly hard. as the Bible puts it: “and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (matt. 24:12 KJV) what an image this scripture conveys! like candle wax when the flame is snuffed out, the surrounding air within minutes begins to harden it. we are surrounded by iniquity like air. but this says to me that only when i choose to overlook an offense, will my love remain soft, vulnerable, and of God.
He is that burning light that feeds my love for others, every day. i wish i could love, serve, speak, parent more like him…but i’m so glad that he sees my progress thus far, and accepts me as i am.
praise you, God.
“Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure.
The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.
He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.”
– A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) from The Root of the Righteous.
the word ‘dip’ has been on my brain this week. my daughter’s been really into dipping things, odd combinations like grahm crackers in ketchup or pretzels in yogurt. i’m callin’ her my ‘little dipper’.
this 35min. msg speaks of (& illustrates like an upside-down bell-curve) when we find ourselves in a ‘dip’ ~ a struggle, trial or source of pain that just seems unfair. craig groeschel tells us 3 things we need to do @ that low point, in faith. important. pls watch it & share it w/a friend in need
Lord, this morning, baby girl fell and hit her mouth on the amp, so i gave her a popsicle to help w/the pain. i know that when i get hurt sometimes, i need a little something to distract me from it. something that tastes good, something that numbs, something that makes it feel better, even for a little while. i guess everybody’s popsicle is different. for some it’s alcohol, caffeine, gambling. for me it’s sugary things like chocolate, or it’s coffee, sleep, or spending which can all be helpful…moderately. i trust you to prompt me when it’s ok to have them & when is enough. & when the hurt is bad, help me to recall the healing power of your word…& make the time for it.
the next thing i heard a few minutes later was this scream-cry from the kitchen. i ran in there & saw that angel had a hold on that popsicle so tight but didn’t know how to let go of it. it was freezing her hand. the very thing i gave her as a treat to numb & distract – in just a few minutes made things much worse.
give me the wisdom to know how to let go of unhealthy habits before they turn into addictions that can put a thick wall between us. i don’t want anything having a strong hold on me
except for you.
ok, she’s not a baby anymore. i have to keep correcting myself, and braylon’s helping me, “mommy, she’s a toddler now” ok, thanks for pointing out for me how fast my CHILD has grown! in fact, i can’t believe when my husb. wallpapered our desktop w/this new pic of bray, i kept having to look away. it was like he made him look 5 years older on purpose. finally i spoke up, through tears might i add, “would you please take that picture off? that’s not really him, right? he looks so corrupt and bad!” oh well, guess i’m in denial.
anyway, while in medford, we were at some friends and angel was just about 8 feet away from my arm’s length. she toddled herself over to their blazing hot wood burning earth stove and thought she’d touch the pretty bright fire-picture. oh, man, i’d like to say that i wanted to take her place like so many moms would say, but after she was crying so hard for 10, 15, 20 minutes…can i be honest? i wouldn’t want that kind of pain either! her little finners were all blistered up the next week, but wouldn’t you know, she slept all the way through the night…and so did we. thank the lord for children’s motrin & benedril. oh, how i hated that evening for her.
i guess we all have to learn some lessons the hard way…by touchin’ places we’ll never touch again. thank god for the memory of pain.