Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 19 - Emotional Healing

More illness, an injury, travel... so many urgent things to distract from what is truly important. Charles E. Hummel's "Tyranny of the Urgent" is a pithy missive which cautions us to beware of giving the best of our resources to the urgent--but often less important--demands of life.

By now we're nearly six months out from the initial goal of 30 days of spoken forgiveness (and I'm only on Day 19!). I've tried to be faithful to my promise to not approach thorny issues with others until my heart is right, but some things can't wait six months! Several topics have had to be addressed, but resolution has been elusive.

As I've tried to guard my tongue, it has seemed the Holy Spirit was a bit hamstrung by my lack of spiritual preparation. It's nearly impossible for me to speak His truth without adulterating it with my bitterness. His message--and work in the hearts of others--is suffering for it.

My doctor reminded me today that the various organs in the body are repositories for specific emotions. Resentment & fear in the kidneys (and by extension, the urinary tract). Bitterness stored in the gallbladder; grief in the lungs. These are all emotional wounds that I bear, and my physical body is paying a heavy price for them. I simply can't get well!

I find myself asking, "But how do I release these things?" By returning to the beginning; do the first works. Speak forgiveness every morning. Before anything else, speak to the Lord about my desire to trust Him to adjudicate old offenses.

Let the Great Physician do His work in my heart--and my body--by obeying His command to forgive. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 17-18 - Eradicate, Meditate & Wait

Psalms 19:12-14

"Who can understand his error? cleanse Thou me from secret faults."
"Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditaiton of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer."

I'm feeling a bit like the proverbial onion here, with layers being peeled back, and eyes increasingly distressed. It's always hard to see ourselves as others do-- as God does. We become masters of rationalization. It's more and more automatic to excuse or discount inappropriate actions or re-actions.

Errors, secret faults, presumptious sins, great transgressions. Isn't that how it goes? A pretty scary progression of (increasingly smelly) layers, used to cover my personal irresponsibility and unbelief. At first, it's just an overreaction to a real or imagined slight.  As I blame others' provocation, I grow ever more reluctant to trust God's justice.

Cleanse Thou me, keep me back, reclaim the throne of my heart--eradicate the layers of self-justification. Teach me to not only stop the erroneous spew, but to clean up the stewing heart which feeds it.

Let the meditation of my heart be the righteousness of Your law, the assurance of your justice, the comfort of your word.

As I wait patiently for Your resolution, let my focus be on praising You and Your goodness. Let it lead me--and my offenders--to repentance.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 16 - A Long Obedience...

Some years back, I was intrigued by a book title. "A Long Obedience in The Same Direction", by Eugene Peterson, is a study of the Psalms of Ascent--Psalms 120-134. Peterson's premise is that the principles found there are just as applicable to modern day life as they were when the faithful sang them on their way to worship in Jerusalem. Topics included are Repentance, Trust, Worship, Service, Security, Joy, etc.

I'd never thought of obedience in a "long" sense. As a child, a parent, and a spiritual disciple, I've been taught that obedience should be immediate and complete. The goal is to bring myself into unfailing compliance with the rules of life and Godliness. But how often do I think past the expectation of the moment? How committed am I to careful consideration of the heart attitude required for a "long obedience"?

In the Psalms, David continually speaks of "whole heart" worship and service. As he paid his dues, waiting for the promise of his throne, he gave us a glimpse of "long". Relentlessly pursued by the king he was destined to replace, unjustly accused and baited, David "encouraged himself in the Lord, His God". His whole-hearted devotion and unflagging trust in God and His promises, kept him from proudly exerting his own will.

"Long..."... you mean, like 30 days of spoken forgiveness? You mean, like fully trusting in the inerrant justice and judgment of my Advocate? Even though the violent, the evil and wicked, and the proud oppress me with their baited traps? Even though my heart is breaking with pain and loneliness?

Yes, if that broken heart will leave itself in the gentle and capable hands of the Great Physician. Not just for today or this week, but for the long haul. As committed to His care and wisdom as one would be to a cancer specialist or a suicide counsellor.  Continuing, unwavering, "in the same direction".

"I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy name: the upright shall dwell in Thy presence." Psalms 140:12-13

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 14-15 Just A Bit Blogged Down

Finding myself getting a bit overwhelmed with this process. The blog is taking on a life of its own, and beginning to eclipse the object of the exercise. When I get ready to pray through the List, I find myself distracted by the thots I wanted to be sure and include in this journal. And, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I have any idea how to really let go. Real, deep down trust--whether in God or anyone else--just doesn't seem to be a part of my make up.
II Corinthians 10:13 - "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
God promises to never test us beyond what we're able to bear, and to always provide a way of escape. Have I been so bent on my own vision of justice that I've refused His grace? Well, yes. I don't suppose any other answer would be honest.

Sure, I've forgiven people before, but not until the offense is long past, or not likely to be repeated. The current problem is with on-going issues, and unrepentant perps. Have I lived my whole life like this? When did I miss that first "escape"? Some of the items in these dockets go back a very long way!

I originally learned the concept of leaving the dockets with the Judge from the book, "Forgive and Love Again" by John Neider. I was reading along, and thinking, "Ok, Lord, I've heard all this before. I need something new, something to provide a fresh perspective." The courtroom illustration was quite a 'light bulb' moment, but trust is still a requirement.

Neider went on, after the section on forgiveness, to emphasize the additional need for emotional healing. Maybe that's where I stopped short. Lord, please heal the wounds, and let me receive your grace to stop reopening them!

Forgive And Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships - by John W. Nieder and Thomas M. Thompson, 2010 Harvest House.  Available on

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 12-13 Reaction & Response

I once heard an instructive and challenging series of messages on the choices we make when things hit us sideways.

1)  We hear God's Word and will.
2) Someone does or says something that creates an emotion in us.
3) We face a decision:
      React, based on the emotion of the moment, choosing self-satisfaction,   OR
      Respond, by returning to step #1, choosing to seek God's directive.

If we leap ahead in 'reaction', we will likely create in the other person a corresponding 'knee-jerk'. As the reaction cycle repeats itself, both sides grow ever farther from caring what God thinks about any of it.

In short, I choose to react to my offender or respond to God.

Just because I keep my reaction to myself, it doesn't count as responding to God.  Stuffing the emotion and refraining from letting my heart spill out my mouth, does not qualify as a trusting and obedient response.  Fear of the offender, or of the consequences of spewing, is still distrust. 


If I've spent my life in distrust, how do I break out of the false sense of security created by my own 'control'? Clearly, I'm not in control of anything, and security continually eludes me.