It’s interesting to me how the Lord uses all kinds of different things in our lives to show us the things He wants us to see. Often, it can be something we read in the Word, but He also uses our everyday normal things. He may use a conversation you have with someone, a dream you dream, a book you read, a song you hear or even a TV show you watch.
I started writing a very different blog earlier this week on emotions and the roller coasters they can sometimes be. I have since discarded it. Not that it didn’t speak to things we may all go through at times but it was about negative emotions and I think enough of my time has been spent on them lately. When you’re on that roller coaster ride that just keeps bringing you further and further down; you know it’s time to get off that ride!
I was reading a book this week about a woman who had issues in her marriage. In a nut shell, her problems became public, creating embarrassment and caused her to move with her son to another town. Her plan all along was to hole up in the house she had rented, work from home, go out only when she had to and basically hide from the world. Of course had the book ended there, it wouldn’t have been much of a story.
She had a meddlesome old woman living next door who managed to get involved in her life whenever she could. At the same time she was constantly involving the main character in the lives of everyone who lived with her or worked for her. Usually against her will. Needless to say that really annoyed her. Until the end of the book of course.
In the end, the old woman died, and the main character finds out her story about how others had risked their lives to hide her sister and her during the holocaust. Its then that she comes to realize why the woman had always tried to help these broken people the way she did. Through learning all this she realized she was also one of those broken people, and this woman had recognized it and given her such a gift. She learned that distancing herself from people and hiding was not what she truly needed. She found that it was only through helping others and allowing them to help her, and through learning to relate to others that she truly became whole again.
I know that was a really quick summary of the story but I wanted to set the stage. The book really impacted me. It caused me to look at the situations and people in the book symbolically, and relate them to myself and to many of us today. Many of us, even though we aren’t trying to live in hiding like this woman, have still been in hiding in our own way, for much of our life.
We have perhaps been hiding behind walls of our own making. Somewhere in the past something happened to make us believe that we would be far safer behind our walls, with our emotions held safely in check. Oh sure, we still smile, we laugh, we hurt but we do it carefully and we keep our strongest emotions bottled up. Often our belief may be that we don’t even really have a lot of emotion.
Perhaps we tell ourselves, or others that we just aren’t outwardly emotional people. Meanwhile we watch, and we observe from a safe distance. We don’t always participate or let others get too close. We congratulate ourselves that we are safe behind our walls where nothing can hurt us.
Yet all the while, we fail to realize those aren’t walls we have built around ourselves. They are bars. In an effort to keep from getting hurt we have put ourselves in exile and bondage. We have not only kept our emotions bottled up but our very lives. Sure we may have missed out on some hurt, but at the same time we may have somehow missed out on true joy or peace or happiness. And yes, at times we’ve missed out on even allowing ourselves to feel the full extent of hurt and loss that we need to feel so we can then feel release and be able to move on.
I remember a time someone close to me was going through a time of deep hurt in their life. In part due to the actions of another person. They were letting this person know how much they had hurt them and what they were going through. My comment was “why would you give anyone the satisfaction of letting them know how you feel? Or how they’ve hurt you?” Like them telling someone about their feelings was somehow wrong.
Jesus came to set the captives free. Even those who are captives of their own making. This is not a thus saith the Lord, but I believe that the Lord is calling many to come out from hiding and show others our true selves. Even if that means we have to learn who we are first. Jesus came not just that we would have life, but that we would have and enjoy life and to have it abundantly. As told to us in John 10:10.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is “A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn,
And a time to dance. There is a hurting world out there and they don’t need us hiding behind our walls. That helps no one including us. They need us to be ready to help, and to participate in life again, and to feel what they are feeling right along with them. Whether it be weeping or joy.
If you’ve been unable to locate your emotions, ask the Lord for His help. He will help you find them again. You know those ways I mentioned earlier, that the Lord can use to show us things? He used just about all of them this week to show me a few things.
First of course there was the book. Then I found myself weeping over a song though I had no idea why. It wasn’t a particularly sad song. Though, it was talking about enjoying things before they are gone. Then on my favorite TV show one character tells another that she always hides her emotions behind her intellect (walls). Lastly this morning when I remembered a dream I had this morning, I started crying. I believe part of the dream perhaps symbolized something I had been missing for many many years.
How about let’s open some of those prison doors. Being behind walls is a lonely place to be.