We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Hebrews 12-1-2 (NCV)
He was harmless, this 77 year old homeless man named “Bill”. Without much warning, my husband had invited him to ride in the back of our car for the next two hours. I scrambled to gather all of my things that were scattered in the backseat. My anxiety, tension and anger rose as I was rearranging the items to fit under my feet.
“Bill” sat directly behind me as my husband engaged him in conversation. Before the 2 hours were up, “Bill” had fallen asleep and rested peacefully in the backseat while we played our favorite worship songs. My emotions shifted from a heightened painful, negative place to a softer, peaceful state of acceptance, AND REPENTANCE.
I became thankful we could provide a safe place of refuge for “Bill”, a soul in distress.
Consumed by my own thoughts and agenda, I had not fully noticed “Bill” and his sign I-40 West. If I had not been so consumed with fear of not being good enough for my current project, I would have noticed “Bill’s” gentle demeanor and understand that he was a man in need. The action of my husband (who noticed) abruptly inviting him into the car, triggered me into feeling out of control and minimized by him. He did not consider my feelings!
After a few miles my hurts subsided and I was able to confess my weaknesses to myself. (later to my husband) I went from a place of pain to a place of peace by intentionally removing the hinderance of my negative perception which lead to my “sin” of coping with anger and control. My coping response would have left “Bill” on the side of the road hungry and alone.
2. Revealing of your Hurts and Weaknesses
I was remorseful for my response and prayerfully let go of my pain to resume my “race” of living my life of faith in trusting a loving God. My emotions were a product of past wounds. I had processed these wounds in the past by revealing them to a faithful friend who helped me release them to my trustworthy Father in heaven. My wounds told me that I was not important and powerless. My Father tells me I am precious, safe in His economy and a competent woman. I choose to trust and live in my true identity as His child.
Heart hurts lead to destructive emotions that seek to be soothed by life destroying actions. These actions are often considered sin, a weakness in our character. Being aware and processing your hurts is an important step toward finding freedom of faith. Trusting God as you release those hurts and confessing your weakness will bring healing and strength.
Concealing instead of revealing our hurts and weakness will only encumber and entangle our progress in trusting God. (Hebrews 12:1) We must look away from the wounds of the past and focus on the healing love of God. Those wounds do not define us as a child of God.
Revealing leads to healing.
Concealing or ignoring our wounds will lead to the emotional struggles of anxiety and depression as well as chronic physical illnesses. Our human families, who we trusted to love us, can cause heart wounds from childhood. We often view their actions from the eyes of a child and carry those perceptions into our adulthood.
Replace childish thinking and hurt with a mature understanding of God’s truth (I Corinthians 13:11). Give the hurt to God, He is your Father, you are His child. Letting God heal can be a life long process.
Confess weakness to profess His strength.
Confession strips away the veil of pretense, releasing the power of humility. Reliance on God’s power and wisdom gives renewal to the soul.
The more flesh dynamics are painfully exposed, the more we abandon ourselves to the mercy and care of God. And the more we are disturbed by the presence and power of our flesh, the more we become excited and empowered by the deeper presence and greater power of the Spirit. Larry Crabb in Conversations spring 2007
David spoke of the burden of not confessing in Psalms 32:3-4 (NLT)
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Instead if we confess to God, trusting His love, we are released of our pain.
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. I John 1:9 (AMP)
Is it easier for you to conceal your hurt rather than reveal? If you can not reveal the hurt to others, just journaling, writing out hurts, has a tremendous benefit. Is the thought of confession of weakness awkward and uncomfortable? This action can be relieving, removing a weakness that impedes our life.
In next week’s post we will move on to action 3 we can take in the humble wholehearted pursuit of God, the U in TRUST, Understanding the Character of God.