Recently I received this amazing email from Proverbs 31 Ministries:
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” Romans 8:5 (NLT)
The waves rhythmically lapped the shoreline as I walked on the wet sand giving way beneath my feet. I always saved my long walk for the last day of vacation. Looking for sea glass, perfect shells and unusual mementos, I realized that my collection was growing, and I could afford to be a little pickier with my choices.
The two-hour stroll provided time to reflect on the healing I so desperately needed. Grief, loss, betrayal and rejection … all themes in a season of letting go and moving on. I listened as God spoke directly to my heart.
“Just like these treasures from the sea, you have chosen to pick up wounds to add to the growing collection now consuming your heart, child.”
I felt a quickening in my stomach. Tears slipped below my sunglasses, rolling down sun-kissed cheeks.
The pain that comes with loss makes the heart raw and weak. This state puts us in a place where we can be easily offended because we’ve been greatly hurt.
It doesn’t take much emotion to tip the scales of a broken heart.
As the cool ocean breeze blew the sticky strands of hair caressing my face, I knew the Father was telling me it was time to stop collecting wounds.
I realized that my deep hurts had triggered a domino effect of emotional chaos that only complicated my grief.
We can choose to pick up wounds, or we can choose to let them be.
Satan longs for us to be led by the wound instead of being led by the Spirit.
He is a master at manipulating our emotions. He thrives on pain and uses every opportunity to ping our deepest hurts.
Unfortunately, being led by the wound opens the door to bitterness.
Being led by the wound can shut down our hearts to others and ministry.
But we know the love of an all-consuming God who wants us thriving in wholeness.
You see …
just because a painful moment or experience taps us on the shoulder, doesn’t mean we have to turn around to greet it.
When I finally cried out to God and begged Him to heal me, I immediately felt His prompting to change my thinking.
As today’s Scripture reminds us: “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
It’s so easy to let our sinful nature make us think the worst when we’ve been wounded, isn’t it?
I found that dwelling on the hurt led to sinful attitudes and divisive thinking … which merely opened the door to more wounds. The more we dwell on a hurt, the more we rebel.
Letting go of the past while abandoning future flawed perceptions (and direct or indirect offenses) is the only way to break free from a broken heart.
I’m so grateful the Spirit sweetly reminds me that no wound is worth the trade of emotional freedom.
Just like the seaside treasures I carefully collected or left behind that day, I’m now walking past the unnecessary wounds that are meant to keep me in bondage.
Father, give me wisdom to recognize the enemy’s ploys that cause me to react in the flesh. Free me from the spirit of offense, and help me filter my thinking in upsetting situations. Please help me stay faithful to walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit, especially when wounds are waiting to find me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.