James 1:2-4 (The Message) …under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Running, running, running! My little Lauren is always running! And she is fast, and so very very cute! But…the other day when I picked her up from school she ran to me across the carpeted gym at school and fell down! And boy did she ever get a carpet burn on her knee. Oweeeeeee!!!!
You know, my mother always told me that I have been in a hurry all of my life. Always wanting to get to the next thing, and unfortunately, always trying to prove myself more and more and more. So the fact that my daughter likes to run is no surprise to me, I like to run too, just in a different way. I like to run away from my circumstances as fast as possible, dig a hole, and bury my head in the sand. I think I must be part ostrich.
Well God broke me of that, but I quickly resorted to option number two, if I can’t run away, I better run to everyone else for help!!! Right?!?! After all if I can’t run away from my problems, I certainly can’t deal with them on my own, so I better ask for help. The only problem is, I ran to people and I wanted them to “fix” things for me, and I end up emotionally exhausting them, sucking them dry!!!
Well then…if running away doesn’t work…and running to others doesn’t work, well then, it seems there is just one option left. Run to God. I wonder why it is that our hearts can be so stubborn that we would rather exhaust ourselves and others before we are willing to run the straight shot sprint to the Savior.
Perhaps it is because we know he is going to force open our faith-life, and we are scared to death of the colors that will emerge! When we are exposed, we are vulnerable. Vulnerability can be a scary place to be! For many of us, being vulnerable has always meant getting hurt-but not with God. He has a strange way of tenderly working, gently convicting, and lovingly correcting that would be excrutiatingly painful if done by another human being, but strangely, it feels like love when it comes from him.
If we are willing to admit that hiding ourselves from him doesn’t work, and willing to admit that others cannot fix us, we might just find some healing. The only requirement being, we are willing to expose the wound. Oftentimes, we are like my little Lauren, who won’t let me clean the carpet burn when she falls down. I just want to put on the Neosporin and the band-aid, but she covers it up, cause it might hurt if you touch it! And the truth is, it does hurt sometimes! But, if you leave that little booboo filled with germs and don’t treat the wound, it will get infected and pussy and grow to be a big nasty booboo.
When you are under pressure, and life hurts a little too much, let him treat the booboo. Let him clean the wound. Pretending it doesn’t hurt won’t work, cause the hurt will just get worse. There is no one who can heal a wound like God can heal a wound. There is no healer on this earth who has the divine power to reshape, reform, renew, and refresh like he can. He can do something that is truly divine. He can take a carpet burned and wounded heart, and make it something much more beautiful than it would have ever been if it was never wounded in the first place. Let him do the work that only he can do.