She had once again come to her "closet"---the place she sought refuge and quiet time with the Lord. There wasn't much to this closet~ just four tiny walls and a floor. Although the floor was cold and hard, she always felt this place was a refuge because the Lord would embrace her with His wings.
Her heart felt battered and beaten, and her eyes were welling with tears. "Would others even notice? Would they even take the time to sense her pain? Or would they just see only what their eyes observed and come to a judgmental conclusion...a false one?"
It didn't seem to matter because the Lord showed her "in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Normally she'd run to a friend to unload her burden, even though that usually made her feel worse--(to hear herself repeat her circumstances would be like having to swallow the same bitter pill all over again). This time was different. It was just between her and the Lord. As she sat there, tears rolling down her face, He reminded her of a request she had made earlier that year: to be tender and compassionate. When she made that request of Him, she knew that probably meant her heart had to be pounded, beaten nearly to a pulp---just like the meat tenderizing process.
Just as the ocean pounds at the shore and begins the erosion process, the heart's tenderizing process changes its shape too~~chipping away the stony edges of the "protective wall" she had built. When the Lord is the One in charge of tenderizing, we can trust that the outcome will be good. The changed heart will be molded into His image. Knowing this in her heart didn't take away the pain though. She still wondered at the seemingly indifference of others. That's when He came. Just as the Lord intended to pass by His disciples in that storm-tossed fishing vessel, He passed by her in her stormy heart.
When He spoke His tone was gentle but with great certainty. "Dear child, you're feeling entangled by circumstances. For so long you've been waiting for My deliverance. You've felt so alone while others passed you by. As you're entangled, and drowning, silently begging for someone to help, you've wondered why you're still all alone? Yes, I have the means to untangle you; but I've let you struggle, I've pounded at your heart until it is tender enough to receive what I want to tell you: Look around. Others around you are drowning, entangled by the seaweed of sin. So many do not even realize that they are drowning, and eternally shackled by their sin---they owe a debt that they can never repay. Yet, you hold the wealth of knowledge within the very heart strings of your soul. Why do you not reach out to them and offer them the wealth of hope that I am?"
Her heart overflowed with the pain of realizing how true His statement is. She asked Him to help her remember this lesson, and begged for a chance to offer the wealth of the gift of His salvation to others.
There is no mistaking when the Great Shepherd passes us by and calls out to us in the midst of our darkest storms. Even through the raging seas and howling winds, His voice is loud and clear, yet somehow remains as gentle and as pure as a snowflake gliding through the crisp winter air.She knows His presence is always with her, yet sometimes He remains silent. The silence can be so heartbreaking....but she learned He is silent to cause us to seek Him, to call out to Him, to beg for His help. And when He does speak, it makes the length of the silence worth it!
The above little "story" was just something the Lord gave me to share.
Dear Father, make me a blessing to someone today. I may not have much material "things" to offer, but I hold within my heart the very wealth of Your eternal salvation through Jesus. Instead of rushing to the nearest mall or toy store to buy gifts for someone who's likely to toss it in a corner of their room within a matter of weeks, why can't we rush to our neighbors to bring them The GIFT of HOPE through Your Son? This doesn't cost us anything except a little bit of time. We prepare our lists, but where is the heart of our lost loved one or neighbor, whose entanglement by sin's debt could mean an eternity apart from You, on that list?? Offering hope to a lost and dying world should be on the top of our To Do Lists. The things of this world fade, but Your salvation is eternal and everlasting. Please allow me the chance and courage to share Your Son, The One true Gift of Christmas, with others, for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.