Devotional Week 31 Monday
“Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it, and He will sustain you: He will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail.)”
Psalm 55: 22
“Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
I Peter 5: 7
Today’s Study Text:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.”
Jeremiah 31: 3, 4
“The Strings of Loving-Kindness”
“God’s love is always supernatural, always a miracle, always the last thing we deserve.”
Where have I searched for love?
Did I find the love I thought I was looking for?
“There is no human wreckage, lying in the ooze of the deepest sea of iniquity, that God’s deep love cannot reach and redeem.”
John Henry Jowett
“God’s love is not drawn out by our loveableness, but wells up, like an artesian spring, from the depths of His nature.”
From the moment we are born, we begin to create images in our minds. Visual portraits which are traced like lines in the sand. Often it is these pictures that mold the expectations we form about the events and people we encounter. As these images become more deeply embedded they form memories which can easily last a lifetime.
What makes these visual formations so unique is that they are brushed onto the canvas of our lives from a palette that is colored by our own individual experiences.
Of all the images created by our personal history – none is more vivid than our vision of what love is all about. Especially the ideal love we hope will fill every corner of our lives.
Our outlook on love is sculpted when we are born by the love or lack of love we receive even as a baby. Author Katherine Harmon, in her May 6, 2010 article in “Scientific American” points to studies on early child development where babies had what is called, “stark institutional isolation.” Her example focused on countries around the world where little children still grow up in orphanages. What scientists found was that children deprived of “touch and emotional engagement” are at a much higher risk for “behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up.”
On a personal level, I have, through the years tried to read a great deal about what happens to babies that are denied the warmth and comfort of human love as my own dear father grew up without his mother and father and was left in a home where he had to hear that he wasn’t really wanted. From my own life, I know that it took my dad his entire life to learn to feel as though he was beloved.
As we mature, we find that two of life’s best teachers can be time and experience. These factors serve us in the real-world classroom, teaching us what it means to be “loved.” Or at least what we think it means to be “loved.”
We think we know what love looks like. We think we know how it feels. And so we go out and try to get that “it” that makes us feel “loved.” And that “it” for many women is really a “him.” And for many men, the “it” is a woman.
Even before our search begins, we try everything we can to make ourselves more desirable thinking that we’ll find love by impressing someone else. We paint our outside. Starve our inside. And have surgery on what’s left. If these measures don’t work the way we want, we try even harder. Because the first thought that hits us when we don’t find the love we are so desperately seeking is that there must be something wrong with “me.”
“I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough money to land in the arms of the person who is the solution to my longing,” we say to ourselves.
Let’s face it. Most of us are experts at blaming our own supposed weaknesses for the lack of love we experience in our lives. Then one day, we become so brittle from sapping our strength chasing down our love solution – we break into a million pieces. A crumpled heap of rubble. Broken beyond repair we hobble through life, crippled from the pain caused by rejection and loss. Caused by feeling that “no one loves me.”
Healing What’s Broken
So how does a broken life get mended? Can what’s fractured be healed?
Just like it takes time for a broken bone to heal – so it is with the broken places in your life and mine. Sometimes a physician will have to take drastic action to make certain that splintered bones are able to grow together and form a bond of strength. The same is true in our lives. Change and healing don’t happen overnight but gradually with the bandages of caring and love – we can find our lives transformed.
But the only way to mend what’s broken is to have “Someone” give you a new picture of love and it can’t be just any person chosen at random. It takes someone special. A person who knows you better than anyone else. Someone whose experienced hands will paint a new image that portrays the beauty that is revealed in your life when time, nourishment, and faith heal what’s broken.
Over the next few days, we are going to take a look at love – the healing kind of love which brings transformation to the broken areas of our lives. We will explore what it means to be healed…to be whole…and to be loved by God.
In the beautiful words of the Psalmist David, “He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds,” Psalm 147: 3, The Message. May this healing power fill your life today.
“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
Jeremiah 17: 14
“Break the webs I have woven, seek out all my fears until you find not one. You are my beloved for ever and ever; all that is broken within me will be made whole.”
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus