My heart grew hard.
Crazy thing is I didn’t know it. I went along from day to day thinking everything was okay-it wasn’t. I wasn’t.
God knew I had a broken heart. He knew I had good reason to grieve. And, He would have comforted me with His love and His Word, had I let Him. But I turned away-put an arms length between us.
My heart grew harder.
I felt and believed God had let me down. After a year or so, I buried the hurt and continued walking like everything was okay.
For seven years…
I believed I was okay-I forgot how much I hurt. I forgot how disappointed I was in God.
I also forgot what His voice sounded like. I no longer heard Him whisper conviction and love in my ear because I had become deaf. I couldn’t see Him because my eyes were dulled.
And then, He used a friend.
The whisper came from a friend that sensed my brokenness. She gently asked me to go and ask God for mercy and ask Him to show me what happened to my heart-what happened to me. I told her I would, though I did it out of respect for her more than any need I saw in me.
You see, I didn’t stop going to church. I didn’t stop praying. I kept reading my bible. I thought I kept going forward in faith. I was a good mom, a good wife, took care of my father-in-law, did everything RIGHT. It’s called going through the motions. It’s called self-righteousness.
My husband was working for three days-Twelve hour shifts, and so I had the whole three day memorial weekend to myself. Though I had no clue that He would, it was a perfect time for God to show up without interruption.
I casually…note, I say casually, asked God if He wanted to show me anything that was standing in the way of our relationship. To my surprise, He did and that’s when my hard hard began to melt.
Like a News Reel before my eyes, He showed me how I had shut Him out and how I blamed Him for the horrible thing that happened. He reminded me how I told Him I hated Him for one year and only stopped when I felt that He had heard enough. (I hate sharing this part of my hard heart, but I doubt I’m alone. I am humbled by it and broken hearted.)
He showed me how He was with me the whole time and had never left me. He overwhelmed me with His lovingkindness and mercy and then…
He melted my hard heart even more.
I overflowed with joy and prayer and praised Him for three days and nights. His Word came alive to me again…up till then I didn’t know my heart and mind had dulled toward the sweet words of Truth. Oh how I missed them.
You might be thinking how could I believe in God and still get to this horrible place. My answer is four-fold: my lack of love and lack of faith, and believing a wrong thing about God and believing a wrong thing about me.
~ My lack of love. I Corinthians 13:7~ Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. GOD is love. He gives the love in our hearts to bear all, believe all, hope all, and endure all things!! I did not love!! He still did. Even so, I learned my love is insufficient. I needed His love and He would have given it if I let Him.
~My lack of faith. I hardened my heart and missed an opportunity to see God grow my faith. I also missed God’s comfort and rest, but not forever, because of His mercy. Read Hebrews 4
~I believed a wrong thing about God.
I believed He protected us from all the horrible worst things of the world and that only good things come to us because we belong to Him. But good and bad things come to those who believe in Him and those who do not. He DOES promise to carry us and comfort us when the heart breaking horrible things come.
It’s true-He does protect us.-Matt. 10:28-Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. …This Psalm talks about how God is our refuge and strength in the day of trouble…Psalm 46 As long as we are on this earth trouble will come.
It’s not true, that He keeps the horrible hurts of the world away from us. 2 Corinthians 11Paul was beaten, ship wrecked, hungry and thirsty. Read more…
It ‘s true- Romans 8:28~He causes ALL things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose…
I forgot that He is able to bring good out of all things for His Glory for those who love God.
Because of this wrong belief…
I made God small. Like me.
~I believed a wrong thing about me.
When I made God small in my wrong belief about Him, the opposite happened to me. I made me bigger. Pride rose up in me and I got angry when God didn’t do what I thought He should have done.
He should have protected.
He should have slayed the offender.
He should have delivered my loved one.
I sound like a spoiled child who didn’t get her way. I obviously was.
But because of His love and forgiveness, we are precious to God. He loves us. He collects our tears in a bottle. That phrase expresses love and care with an intimate knowledge of our pain. Psalm 56:8.
He healed my heart and made it soft again.
He showed me my sinful doubt and my wrong beliefs and I was forgiven.
He revealed His kindnesses to me through the years and that He is good and He does care and He is able!!
I took a deep inventory of my life and heart through God’s eyes and found He was there. My heart was so hard I wasn’t sure. I wanted to be sure about my salvation and then He showed me His kindnesses through the years. His faithfulness stood firm even when mine did not.
I submit my heart to Him daily and He keeps it soft. He shows me the slightest crustiness that tries to form around my heart and I repent and turn to Him for help. The crustiness might look like a slight irritation at another driver or a prideful thought and He nudges me and I once again present my heart to Him.
I never want that hard heart again. He is able to keep it soft. Not me. I need Him.
Oh Father, Help me lay down my self-sufficiency and my pride. Keep my heart soft like putty in your hands. And Jesus, “I believe, help me in my unbelief.”