Monday, January 21, 2013
When Life Tugs at Our Heartstrings
I am the youngest of four sisters. As you can imagine, there was a lot of conversation in our household. I learned to use my words early and often; it was a matter of survival.
But with the age difference, I often couldn’t keep up. When one of my sisters would boss me in a way I didn’t like and I couldn’t find the words to make my case, I always resorted to the same comeback:
YOU HURT MY FEELINGS!
It never worked. I believed such a weighty pronouncement would at least make them clutch their chests with dismay. I hurt your feelings? Oh, no! Please, please, what can I do to make this up to you?
But no. I still had to finish my supper or go to bed or simply endure under whatever injustice was being placed on my small shoulders.
I’m not four anymore, I’m forty. And you know what? I still get my feelings hurt. I’m a bit more sophisticated about it, but inside I’m still that small girl, clenching her fists and stomping her feet and railing about the injustice of it all.
Sometimes I’m just being unreasonable. I think I’m more important than I really am, and I don’t want to face things that indicate otherwise. It’s painful to be brought up short, but like the four-year-old being forced to eat her vegetables, it’s best for me and helps me grow.
Other times it’s not so clear. I offer my love or help sincerely, and end up being rebuffed. Or perhaps my good intentions simply come face-to-face with my human limitations and my best just isn’t good enough. Although it’s tempting to try to find comfort by taking revenge or lashing back, these things must be taken to the foot of the cross.
We have a Savior who understands
Hebrews 4:15 says "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
Even our most sincere efforts are tinged with our own self-interest. The only completely sincere person to ever walk the earth was Jesus, and he was crucified. He understands our hurt when we are misunderstood, and his death on the cross secures our forgiveness for the things we do with wrong motives.
God is glorified by our faithfulness, not our success. Sometimes our efforts produce the results we desire, sometimes not. He loves us no less when we fall short.
I am thankful for his grace and mercy.