Do you know Him?

My husband and I feel disconnected sometimes. Work gets full, and schedules don’t always align. Suddenly, we find ourselves running parallel lives. Roommate living moments pass by before we realize that it has been days since we talked and connected. 

Whoosh…a window opens wide for the devil to march right in.

You know the enemy is stealthy…and you may not always notice at first that he is sneaking around messing with your mind and mingling in between your relationships. Partly because…, they are, after all, your thoughts. the disgruntled, disappointed thoughts are yours. And they come from real places. Real moments of feeling overlooked or unheard. They come from real moments between real humans who have the full capacity to be both loving and hurtful.

The enemy is a liar

But in moments of weakness, when you have your guard lowered, the enemy will show up and begin to work. He will inflate those thoughts of disappointment about your spouse, “He never makes time for me. I am the last choice. I can’t believe he has done this again. This behavior will never change.” Or “She doesn’t find me attractive anymore and never initiates intimacy. She doesn’t love me as she should.”

The enemy will distort your perspective, “I can’t believe he doesn’t see how disrespectful his words and actions are!” “She doesn’t respect me or what I do and is never happy with what I provide. Nothing I do is going to make her happy.” The enemy prowls and waits for these openings to distort and divide. You are left feeling angry and hurt with little hope for change.

So here we were, my husband and I, living in parallel, feeling disconnected, a little bruised and alone. That’s when we partnered with the enemy using sharper than intended words, taking offense and boom…the division the devil intended to create is visible. The division is always the enemy’s agenda. To get between us…to move us further away from one another. To entice us to lash out at one another. And there in the space between us forms a hurting, prickly silence.

Jesus is in the middle of the mess

And even then, right there in the room smack dab in the middle of our mess, is Jesus. Waiting and watching His kids hurt one another. Make no mistake about the truth of who He is and where He stays. The enemy may lurk around waiting for open windows, but Jesus resides. Jesus remains.

He is Immanuel…our God with us. I have to open windows of my heart and my mind to give the enemy a foothold. But my God, my healer, my Jesus is an ever-present help in that kind of trouble because He never leaves.

In the moments, the Father watches His kids complain and say hurtful things to one another. He sees how we hurl daggers at one another’s hearts out of frustration and disappointment. And what does our Father do? How does he hope to respond? He waits for us to notice Him right there in the room. He waits.

Get real quiet and listen

I have learned some things in my relationship with the Father. When my heart feels bruised and that choking lump rises in my throat or the edges of my ears feel all hot. When tears threaten to pour out from the corners of my eyes, and ugly words float around inside my head, threatening to spill out from my mouth. I know in these moments, I need to pay attention…pay attention real quick.

I need to get quiet and listen to the Father’s heartbeat. I know He is in the room, but I have to get good and quiet and still to notice Him. My Father is soft with me, inviting me close to bear my hurt. He is the soft landing place that first consoles my heart and then with a sweet gentleness, his Holy Spirit opens my eyes to my wrong. His Holy Spirit asks me what I could do to make it right. And like that, my softening, comforting heart wants to make amends. Earthly amends with my love because I have received the touch of the Father’s love for me. On my worst days, with my ugliest attitudes, I don’t repulse Him. He stays near me. And His presence heals me.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

1John 1: 9

He sees you…

He heals…

And it is true…sometimes, we walk through wilderness seasons where the Father seems silent, His voice eerily absent. But, even in those moments, this is true- God is for me and with me and will never leave me. So while I feel He is silent, the truth says, He is with me and has not abandoned me.

We have to remember that He sees us, remember that He is near and then respond to Him, and allow Him to heal.

A little more truth…

He has the things you need…steadfastness, endurance…and patience…the hidden qualities that you need in order to do all that you do. Run to Him. See Him there with you. Know him, right now, at this moment. He is with you…even through the mindless activities. He is with you. He sees you in your frustration of picking up after everybody. He sees you when you are feeling lonely and unappreciated. He notices how you look at yourself in the mirror and feel dissatisfied. He sees you when you step on the scale and feel discouraged. He is with you.
The Father chose you and created you for a purpose. The Father designed you with precision. Sometimes your wishes and waiting for changes in your circumstances are distractions from knowing His presence is with you through those circumstances. Where you go, He goes. Where you are, there He is also. He can move silently with you, or you can know him. Invite Him into your day, your tasks, your thoughts. He will refresh, equip, and refine you. He works to restore all things. 

Keep Free

If you are going to keep your heart fear-free so you can live in continual peace, you must make a firm commitment to let God’s word rule in your heart! God’s word will protect your mind and prohibit fear from worming its way into your emotions and turning you into an emotional mess.

Rick Renner- Sparkling Gems From the Greek Vol. 1

We are the stewards of our hearts. We get to choose what takes up residence. When I let the residue of frustration or irritation brood, it doesn’t take long before my thoughts to become wormy. Wormy emotions fester into resentment…the bitter roots that defile many. Fear and worry thoughts fester too and can take up residence in our hearts displacing the peace and rest the Father intends for us to experience.

Look diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

-Hebrews 12:15

But God has given us authority over our thoughts, our minds, and our emotions. Even with this authority, we will experience offensive, hurtful, and unkind things from others that leave scars and marks on our hearts. And we will have times of worry. In this life, we will have trouble, but we are not without options. We do not have to be a slave to our emotions or our fear. We have the right to evict the bitterness and fear before they take deep roots, defiling us, and defiling others. But, it takes work. It requires intention and attention.

You have to pull out the weeds. Garden your heart. Tend to the matters of your heart regularly. Don’t overlook the work. If you walk away from this garden and forget to tend it, it will look messy and feel ugly. No one wants to linger in an untended garden. A heart filled with weeds, no longer displays beauty and grows cold and hardened without life.

Garden your heart. Pull out the weeds. Speak life and truth into your heart.

Don’t let the devil get a foothold.

Jesus, I take hold of this frustration and resentment that is festering inside me and I uproot it from my heart, in Jesus name…I send it to the cross. I turn away from thoughts that are negative, brooding and filled with worry and ask for your forgiveness where I have acted out of these weedy places and defiled others. I ask you to increase my sensitivity to your presence with me in this moment so I can experience your peace. I thank you that you died for my freedom to give me fullness of life. I invite your presence to fill my heart and mind. Fill me with your thoughts, your kindness and love.