Monday, November 12, 2012

Letting Go of the Need to Make Sense of the Pain

“Lean not on your own understanding.”
(Proverbs 3:5)

Remember those impenetrable, self-protective walls we talked about recently? You know, the ones we build in an attempt to avoid the uncertain, the uncomfortable, and the painful. Yet the ones that also prevent our souls from breathing cleansing breaths of freedom and joy in the process. (If you're new here, you definitely want to read that post first.)

I’ve thought a lot about why and how I’ve built my walls. Long before I wrote that piece. But when I invited God to tear them down, my longing to fully understand the ins and outs of my walls clearly grew. It only made sense that understanding their construction was the key to their removal.

But one night recently, I picked up a devotional and read this:
“The heart is deceitful above all else. I’ll never be able to understand it.”

I’ve heard that verse. I’ve heard it a thousand times. But I’ve never heard it put that way before – that “I’ll never be able to understand it.” And when I read it that night, it hit me:
I’ve been trying to understand my heart all this time –
but I’ll never be able to!
I simply can’t.

One commentary explains the reality this way:
“It even hides itself from itself;
so that its owner does not know it.”
(Sheesh! Tell me about it!)

Immediately after I read that verse, I opened an entry in My Utmost that warned about bargaining with God, and wanting Him to reveal
before we respond.

“But when you act on the basis of redemption, and stop the disrespectfulness of debating with God . . . “

I couldn’t read any further.
My eyes were stuck on debating . . .
Horrified at the possibility.

And in essence, that's exactly what I've been doing. I’ve been debating with God. Wanting to fully understand these walls to the nth degree before reaching out in love like He calls me to do. Making my response dependent on my finite understanding, rather than dependent on Grace.

Am I saying we should live in blind ignorance or denial? Of course not. Understanding is imperative, oftentimes a springboard for healing. But it isn't our source of healing. And it can't be a prerequisite for choosing to love. I want to walk by faith and not by sight even in the broken places of my heart.

So as we invite the Lord to tear down our walls,
He beckons us to shift our focus off the wall, and onto Him.
He calls us to prioritize the relationship over the rational understanding.

Because sacrificial love doesn't demand an explanation.
And genuine forgiveness is an extension of Grace, not logic.
(It defies logic!)

And healing doesn't hinge on human understanding.

"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.
For the battle is not yours, but God's."

~ 2 Chronicles 20:15
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