by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
To dare to feel. To not close yourself off. To risk not hardening your heart. To feel the discomfort and pain and let Him guide you through it.
There is indeed risk in keeping your heart open. There is greater risk in closing your heart to minimize or even avoid pain.
A hard heart is self-protection. Sometimes anger at God. Even rebellion. A hard heart can never result in blessing to you or proper honor to God. It breaks relationship. Likely not on purpose. Yet it does. This is not because God has walked away, but because you have created a wall.
He never left. He is still there knocking at the door of your heart. He longs to enter in. Once He does, His truth may come like a sword where you have tried to block yourself off from feelings and pain. His act may at first seem unkind. If He loved you, how could He allow you to be pierced? To feel as if you are breaking into pieces?
But to feel. To allow yourself to sense is also part of becoming alive instead of more walking dead. It is a place He can finally begin to mend your broken heart and put you back together His way.
In God-whispers is your strength. In His inner encouragement. But you must dare to listen. To be open. To stay soft or become so again. To be tenderized by Him in the way He knows will eventually help. To learn to recognize the inner voice which is from Him and which is not.
Heavenly One, who came as the Child giving up all to lead my home, how I need You. I want to self-protect. I don’t want to hurt. But this also closes me to love both in the giving and the receiving of it. I entrust myself to Your care. Where as part of the healing of wounds and gaining your adopted-child perspective, I may first need to be willing to re-open my heart. And as a part of this, You will clean it. My whole being tenses at the prospect. Yet, I know Your greater plans are for good, which overcomes evil and restores. And so I am here quivering, knowing You will lead me through.
17 For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
18 Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.
19 Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.
21 He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne.
16 So circumcise the foreskin of your [minds and] hearts; be no longer stubborn and hardened.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it—My name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them—and the nations will know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service], when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours.
24 For I will [a]take you from among the nations and gather you out of all countries and bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.
28 And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
SONG Recommended: FOR LOVE ALONE – Christmas Worship album
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