Life Poked My Heart
The world, circumstances, people and even God Himself pokes our hearts. Situations arise that wound us, people hurt our feelings, and God bruises us to heal us. We can’t walk on this earth and remain unaffected. If your heart is open at all, you will be hurt. It’s just the nature of a fallen world, and to counter these effects, the world offers a treasure trove of deluded distractions. Events, substances, emotions, interactions—all promising to alleviate the pain of being wounded. It’s kind of like walking through a carnival with a bunch of sideshow barkers tempting you to duck within their tents. “Come see the two-headed man and be amazed at their debate!” “Enter here to witness the man who feels no pain—an anomaly for sure!” “Watch the bearded woman eat a 55-pound turkey right before your eyes!” If we wish to mask the pain, there’s an ample supply of mind-numbing illusions helping us do so.
There’s no real surprise in most of the things that can wound us. Even the wrong tone in someone’s voice can poke me, but what about God? What about the wounds from my Creator? How am I to respond to His inflicting? “Blessed is he who is not offended by Me!” (Matthew 11:6)
God Pokes My Heart
God has repeatedly poked my heart. I sit on the floor and cry at times, saying, “You poked my heart?! ” Why would a loving God hurt me like this? Why would He intentionally inflict a wound on me? God wounds in order to heal. God breaks to build. He bruises to bind. And at the end of every day, as I look into His face, He has a purpose – whether I see it or not.
What I have found more likely than not is that most of my wounds at His hands are actually answers to my prayers. He’s adjusting my situations, my ideas, and my relationships in order to move me into the fulfillment of my prayed-for desires. God is adjusting to set things in line with my passionate pleas. Having your prayers answered can hurt. And Christ challenges me through the words He sent to John: “Blessed is he who is not offended by Me!”
Union with God in heart, mind and spirit involves wounding. My pain gives me opportunity to respond in one of two ways—anger or bowing. To be perfectly honest, I tend to maximize my expression by exploring both of these options, but in the end, I yield. It is impossible to enter this union-life – where my life is indistinguishable from His because He and I are one – without pain. Our personal Gethsemanes are not a one-time living expression; they’re seen in our daily crosses. Sure, there may be momentous choice that lead us to a monumental Gethsemane, but it’s in the daily grind where we walk out our crosses.
Our temptation is to respond with offense because pain is offensive. If something hurts, it is natural to respond. Pain is a motivator and calls us to react. And God isn’t averse to using it to guide us.
So if you, like me, can commiserate with the little boy in this video, we may need to go ask the Lord, “Is this an answer to my prayers?” If He’s wounding us with circumstances, people, or the world, is it done to heal us? Are we being drawn into union? Is He leading us into oneness with His heart and mind? Is it just that we’re feeling His loving Crook leading us into glory?
Blessed is he who is not offended by Me!