I’ve been in a lot of pain for months. God can teach us so much in these places we don’t want to go. About a month ago, as I lay in bed, the pain was the worst it had been in a while, which was saying a lot. I was trying to go to sleep, but I realized that my fist was clenched under my pillow. That’s no way to sleep, so I opened my fist, took a deep breath, and tried to relax. Slow breaths, in and out.
I started to think, there in the darkness, that that is such a natural thing to do when we’re hurting, to brace ourselves against the pain without even knowing it. The problem is that when we compensate like that, we can’t rest or heal, and we end up with secondary injuries. Besides, fists are notorious for hurting others, and we don’t want to do that. We do it when our hearts hurt, too, don’t we? Before we even know it, we’re steeling ourselves against judgement, rejection, and misunderstandings. Walls goes up and Love can’t come in. Others, sometimes the ones we love and need the most, bust their own hearts on our fortress. Or, they ready their own defenses. Who could blame them, we haven’t given them many options.
So I asked the Lord to show me when my heart is hurt and clenched, so I can take a deep breath, open my heart and let Him in. He is the only one wholly trustworthy with a broken heart- or any kind of heart- so He is the best place to start. Trust me on this one, I’ve tried it every other way. I am learning to stay here and open up my heart and let Him in for as long as it takes to find true rest. And He comes, and we heal, and something even more precious happens, we learn to trust this God, this Friend.
I’ve always loved the way the Message says it in Matthew 11:28-30- “Are you tired? Worn out?… Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me…—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
That night in the dark, I heard the Father sing this song over me, “Open up your heart and let Me in.” Feel free to let Him sing it over you, too.
Here’s Jesus Culture singing the song I heard: