Category Archives: a wounded heart

He has things in hand.

So often the Bible tells me the opposite of what I want to hear. When our house got trashed by renters, steam shot out of my ears. But then Derek drew me aside and we read the Bible. It said, “Rejoice!” God was in control. He had things in hand.

Or there was the time when someone made a decision that caused me a lot of pain. I stomped and cried in the private of my room. But the same thing happened again. Derek drew me aside. We prayed. A verse. Yes, it was, “Rejoice!”

Just today I was reading where Jesus healed the sick. “And people brought to him all who were ill… those suffering severe pain… and he healed them.”  (Matthew 4:24)

Sometimes, those of us who are hurt can’t seem to get to Jesus by ourselves. We need others to bring us close. And then we can hear that wonderful word. “Rejoice!” God is in control. He has things in hand.

Those unsung heroes

 

There is an influence that can sometimes be forgotten about war.

My dad as a teenager freeing a wagon outside a refugee camp. WWII

Even in peacetime, former refugees can still pass on the effects of war to their children. These parents experienced terrible things. It traumatized them, harmed them, and moulded them.

And, even though their post-war children were born into apparent peace, these children too became survivors of war. For decades they may have had to deal with the consequences of their parents’ broken hearts and minds. But thankfully, this isn’t the end of the story.

Ordinary people in ordinary walks of life have dared to step up and embrace those refugees and children. They have dared to get involved. So I celebrate an even greater army of selfless heroes, those who one hug after another, reverse the effects of war.

Emotional traps

Have you ever been so upset, you dared not speak? I recently was, even though I did all the right things. Count to ten. Take deep breaths. Try to see things from another perspective.

Nothing helped, and all I accomplished was losing sleep and gaining five pounds  in weight. I cried out to God, “Help me.”

A simple thought came to mind… “Focus on God.”

I shifted my gaze from the pain within, to a verse on the kitchen window sill. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8) I caught my breath. I had been feeling the opposite. It was time to realign with God.

Do you have verses around the house to help you regain perspective?

 

Are we safe?

There are times when the waves of life roll in, crashing on our shores. A couple of weeks ago I almost lost someone very dear to me. Now someone else is slipping away. I keep thinking, “It’s going to be hard to survive this loss.”

Then, out of the blue a text came in the night. Someone passed on a message to me. “Eva, I am for you!” From God.

I would like to share this same message with you. Have you been up most of the night? Are you experiencing some kind of grief? Could it be a decision you have to make? Or, maybe you don’t feel strong enough to stand up against a wrong? Whatever it is, God is for you. Let him be with you. You are safe.

It takes two!

A few days ago I experienced something painful in my heart. I prayed that God would send me someone to help me regain perspective. I set off on a walk. Maybe I would meet this person, and maybe they would stop me. But, I wouldn’t take the initiative, I would let God do it.

I had barely started out when a virtual stranger stopped me. She asked me how I was.

I was taken aback, and didn’t want to share. But I had prayed, and God had done his part. I had better do mine. I told her what was going on. “I’ve been there too,” she said. “It isn’t your fault…”

God does answer our prayers! But, we too have to do our part.

 

Are we alive or dead?

In the space of four days, opposite events occurred:

  • Someone said something with an intent to destroy.
  • A friend took me to the National Art Gallery in London.

I sat before a painting with my friend – The Raising of Lazarus.*  It mirrored my circumstances… Lazarus was dead, and I felt the same. But, four days later Jesus told the mourners to open to tomb. An awful smell poured out.  Yet, Jesus called out, “Lazarus, come out!”**

…I sat there. Lazarus was me. Jesus was calling. I lived! Lazarus tore off his shroud. I could tear off mine. I could be free!

You see, death-like words don’t have to hold us down. “Come out!” Jesus calls to each one of us. We can choose to get up and LIVE!

 

* Sebastiano del  Piombo, 1517-19     **from John 11

The silence behind our words

It hardly ever happens. Derek and I stopped. We stood in a beech wood. There was no wind, no noise, no people, just us. We watched leaves fall from the trees, one every few seconds. We heard the “plif” as each one landed.

Life is like that. We can’t hear anything until we stop. Today I heard an agitated voice. I listened to the silence behind their words, and I heard the “plif.” What that person actually meant was, “I feel so alone. No one listens to me. Please accept me.”

Jesus stops with us in the silence behind our words. He wants us to hear his “plif.” “I comfort all who mourn… I bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” (from Isaiah 61:2-3)

 

To live without lies

Often I wake up in the night, trying to break free from lies I picked up in my past. Offene Muschel im SandI have even prayed for Jesus to heal me. But the following day I end up right where I started, acting as if those lies are still true.

If I told you those lies, you would shake your head. You would say, “Eva, but those are just LIES! They aren’t true!”

I know that too. But breaking free from what has become a part of our emotional DNA is not an easy thing. Even Jesus knew that. Nowhere in the Bible (I have searched!) did he instantly heal an emotionally hurting person. Instead he stretched out his arms. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… Learn from me.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Jesus is our comforter, our teacher, our gradual healer. He shows us how to live without lies.

 

Can anything good come out of pain?

Sometimes people hurt us and we end up deeply shaken. But those people also accomplish something else. They reveal to us what is in our hearts. I don’t often like what I find in mine: anger, fear, pride… I even contemplate revenge.

Someone in the Bible suffered injustice as well, yet he reacted differently. He cried out, “My soul finds rest in God alone… He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress. I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)

Can anything good come out of pain? There is one thing. Through it God can show us if we have wandered away from him. Through it we can make the choice to return and find rest in him.