Healing Hurts

Plants flourish under the right conditions, and the same is true for love. God provides the perfect environment for the fruit of His Spirit to grow unhindered when I open my heart to His ways and stop trying to do what only He can.

Proper light is essential for growth. If I insist on the spotlight,  love will shrink and die in the glare of my selfishness. If I hide in a cave, it will whither and die in the darkness.

Knowing the right amount of moisture to keep a plant healthy is important. God is the Master Gardener and knows that His Word is water when it comes to growing His love. I can drown His love in license or allow it to dry up in the law, but it’s best to let His Holy Spirit guide me through the water so I get the nourishment I need.

Warmth brings life out of the ground and love out of the heart. The frost of isolation kills any chance of love making it to the surface, and fiery lust leaves only ashes in its wake. Christ’s precious love cools lust and warms loneliness leaving the perfect temperature for God’s love to yield a bountiful crop.

Galatians 5:22-23 is a familiar verse that many have memorized. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, and it leads my heart to a bountiful harvest when I let God do the gardening.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (NASB)

Bearing fruit is painful. Loving is painful. Growth is painful. Change is painful. All involve healing and growth, and that means pain. God’s powerful lesson this morning was that all healing involves hurt, but the hurt is worth the wellness that comes when I allow God’s love to take my heart in a new direction that pleases Him. A new direction isn’t possible without a new mindset and a change of heart. God made that painfully clear this morning as He did some therapy on my heart. The signs at the gym say, “No Pain, No Gain,” and nothing hurts more than the physical therapy necessary for proper healing. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the same applies to my heart.

Healing Hurts

 

You Can Always Get What You Want!

Mick Jagger assured us in the seventies that we couldn’t always get what we wanted, but we could get what we needed if we tried. The truth is that you can always get what you want, but it comes at a price. Rhonda Bryne tells us in The Secret that we have the power to manifest our heart’s desire. I believe she’s right. The problem is the cost. It doesn’t take an extensive research project to prove that it’s possible to get what you want. Every spoiled child and adult in the world has proven that to us over and over again for free. Getting what we want only leads to misery, and we don’t need a study to prove that either.

God can give us everything we want, but He knows that would make us miserable. He could also force us to do exactly what He wants, but He knows that would make Him miserable. The lessons of late have been about obedience, and they are never easy ones. I want what I want and struggle with God when what I want and what He knows is best for me are not the same thing. All good parents and teachers understand the feeling well.

I laugh each time I think of my nephew Ben telling Tyler that he didn’t have to do what I asked him to do. He was two and running away from my sister Edie as fast as he could. I was at the kitchen table telling Tyler it was time to get ready for bed. Ben stopped running long enough to yell, “You don’t ha to Tider!” Tyler looked surprised, and I did my best to hide the big grin on my face. Ben was right, and I knew it.

The fact that I don’t have to do what God asks me to do is what allows me to grow when I choose to obey. God and I both know that obeying out of love is the only way for me to be who He knows I can be. Without love, I become a drone. Christians who become drones are miserable and make those in their paths miserable too. Misery does, indeed, love company. Love also loves company, but the connection is so much better and lasts forever.

Getting what I want means turning from God and living in the darkness. Darkness is darkness and no amount of money, fame, or fortune can change it into light. Only God can do that. He shed His Light upon the world in a way that changed everything. Understanding His Love and embracing His Truth brings hope, and hope is better than anything I can manifest on my own. Sure, I can write myself make believe checks and make collages of the life I want, but Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand.” (NASB) That lottery money will soon be spent, those possessions will fall prey to rust and dust, and fame will soon fly away. Love lasts forever!

If I go with God’s plan, I will have eternal life with Him, and I can walk in His kingdom now. That doesn’t mean I’ll be prosperous, but it does mean I will have love, joy, and peace. When God’s counsel takes root in my heart, it bears the fruit of His Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 promises, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (NASB) Money, fortune, and fame don’t come close to love. Love cannot be manipulated or manifested. It comes when I understand that there is something much better than what I want.

Lust is about getting what I want, and it is the second most powerful force in this world. The universe will give you just what you want, and there will always be those who pick up the slack for selfish, spoiled folks who insist on their way because they make others miserable when they don’t get it. Love means not getting what I want and not giving others what they want. Lust wins many battles, but the good news is that love has already won the war!

This photo is from "Spoiled Kids Get Worse Grades in College" by Laura Hamilton.
This photo is from “Spoiled Kids Get Worse Grades in College” by Laura Hamilton.

I’m not surprised 🙂