Thursday Quote Day: Pete Wilson

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from Pete Wilson:

“Everyone has shattered dreams. Every one of us has been let down and disappointed in one way or another. And every one of us needs healing from our brokenness. Everyone.” (Pete Wilson Plan B)

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Having a Heart While Not Losing Heart

simple-red-heart

It’s not easy to love one another.  It’s not easy to love one’s enemies.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to that.  It is a calling card of a Christian.  It is what we are to be known by because that is what Jesus is known for.

That involved people and people are messy.  We are messy.  Others are messy.  And sometimes that messiness leads to hurt and pain.  And it’s not fun to be hurt, to be in pain.  After awhile of this, the tendency is to want to shut off, to close ranks, to withdraw, to not feel.  But that is not what should hold us back.  Granted, it’s never fun to be hurt by people, regardless of whether they’re enemies or friends.  But it’s good to remember in those times that Jesus knows what it feels like to be rejected, to be hurt by his enemies and his friends.  But he still loved and cared for those around Him.

The Apostle Paul twice in two different letters to two different churches wrote “Do not grow weary in doing good” (to the Galatians and the Thessalonians).  It’s easy to lose heart in situations where we get beat up emotionally while following Jesus in loving others.  But it’s important to remember that we are not alone.  We have the Holy Spirit, we have fellow believers to lean on and help to love others.  We can continue to have a heart for those around us without losing heart because we as Christians follow the one who gave us a new heart.

Sunday Devotional: Matthew 9:12-13

“But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’  For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””  (Matthew 9:12-13)

Jesus speaks these words to the crowd that is around when he is spending time eating with Matthew, a former tax collector whom Jesus called to be a disciple.  It’s a declaration to everyone Jesus’ mission.  He came to heal, to restore.  He came to redeem sinners.  What an encouraging thought.  We are all sinners who need redemption.  We are all sick in need of healing.  Jesus comes directly to us.  We just have to invite him in.  He still does that today.  He wants to redeem us.  He wants to heal us.  We have to accept what he’s offering.

Monday Musings

Sometimes on Mondays you just have a bunch of jumbled thoughts and some days it’s pretty coherent.  This is one of those jumbled thoughts kind of days.  Jumbled in the sense that I have a few things in my mind I could write about but nothing that is so sustained that I could write a lot about.  So here’s some things that I’m thinking through…

*I know for me it is hard to let go of hurt sometimes.  The more I’ve been hurt, the harder it is for me to let go.  I think this is something we all struggle with but i know for me it is something I struggle with.  I think sometimes it can be our identity if we let it.  We let that pain define us when that’s not what God wants.  He doesn’t want us defined by our pain.  He wants us to find our meaning in Him.  Jesus took on all the pain and suffering on the cross.  Pain should not be something we hold on to.  But it is a struggle to let go.  But the awesome thing is when I let go of that hurt and turn it over to God, I feel so much better.  I’m more myself again.  I’m more the person God has called me to be.  I can follow Christ better because I’m not weighed down by the hurt I was holding on to previously.

*I saw a tweet this past week by author and speaker Jon Acuff that stuck with me.  He said this :  “Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past so it doesn’t become their future.” I’ve been on both sides of this.  I have heard stories from friends of mine that I learned from their past and I have shared my story with others and my past.  Not only is it a way to help others, but like I said earlier it’s a way of letting go hurt as well.  Seeing that tweet reminded me that I need to share my story more because of the awesomeness of how the Gospel intersects with my story and how it can intersect with others.

Scars and the Stories They Tell

A couple of years ago while when I was in seminary, I wrote a post on Facebook.  I thought I’d post my thoughts about the topic here because I feel like it’s still relevant.

I have scars. Several in fact. In the physical sense I have two main ones.  One is from having my appendix removed when I was very young (around 4 or 5).  The other is on my left index finger from having a coffee cart dropped on it and smashing it while I was in Seattle.  They aren’t as defined as they once were but you can still see them (especially the one on my finger since it’s in plain sight.)

I also have emotional scars.  Some of my own making because of immaturity, some from others (through their words and actions).  But they are there.  Those you have a hard time seeing unless I open up and share about them.  But they are a part of me as well.

I think for a long time I’ve tried to hide my scars.  You want to be seen as “perfect” even though we all know that’s never the case.  But it doesn’t mean those scars aren’t there just because I try to hide them.  They’re still there and I shouldn’t be trying to hide them for one simple reason.  They are there for a purpose.

As we know from physical scars, there was first a wound.  There was a cut or surgery or something that cause there to be a wound that needed to be treated.  Sometimes those wounds healed quickly.  Other times, those wounds would take a long time to heal.  But when they did heal, there remained a scar.  That scar showed that healing had taken place.

Like physical scars, emotional scars come from a wound.  Whether it’s an action or words that someone speaks, they cut and hurt.  Emotional wounds can cut deep and healing needs to take place.  Sometimes the healing process is quick and other times it takes time.  And like physical scars, there are emotional scars that remain.

I believe that God uses those emotional scars as a reminder of His healing in our lives and how He continues to be with us. I’m not a patient person.  Even though I’m better than I used to be, I’m still not as patient as I could be.  When I’m sick or hurt, I want to hurry up and get better.  But you can’t rush healing.  It takes time.  I think it’s the same emotionally,  You have to have time to heal.  However, when you are healed, you can look back and see how you are taken care of through the whole thing by Him.

When I look at the scar on my finger as I tend to do from time to time, I remember the incident.  However, there is no pain involved.  I don’t experience the pain I felt from the accident each time I look at my scar.  What I do remember is that God was watching out for me, and  He took care of me.  The same can be said for my emotional scars as well.  I can look back on events now that have happened in the past and I don’t feel the pain about them anymore.  I may bear the scars but I don’t feel the pain.  I’m reminded of how He has led me to the point in my life where I am now.  Even though it has not been easy following Jesus, I don’t know anywhere else I could be or should be.  That assurance that Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 28:20 about being with them “always” (or in the Greek, “all of the days”) is an assurance that I have too.

So I try to not be ashamed or hide my scars.  Instead, I hope that I can use the stories that come from them to reflect Jesus and the impact that He has and continues to have in and through my life.