December 30, 2009
TAKE IT ALL
I pray that this encourages you or that you can share it with someone you know who may need to hear it.
Reflecting over this past year is particularly difficult for me this year. It’s been a tough one, but sometimes the toughest times in our lives are the times that God allows us to grow and mature the most. It’s a painful process, but the Bible says our…
“momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor 4:17-18.
I can’t say that these trials have felt momentary or light as I’ve gone through them. But when I compare them to eternity, then I guess I can see it. I have heard it said that the trials God gives us in life are gifts from God. These “gifts” are not the kind we dream of and wish for at Christmas time or for our Birthdays, but the kind that in the end cause us to become better people and develop in us Godly character that can shine even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.
As I have journeyed through this process, God revealed something to me, and I want to share it with all of you because maybe it will help someone. God showed me a picture of a place inside my heart that I didn’t know existed. It was a small box tucked away in a corner. Inside of that box I had locked away the pain of my hurts and disappointments over the course of my life. It was a place where no one else could go, not even God. A few weeks ago, I felt myself open the box with the best intentions of cleaning it out and giving it all to God. After a few days of staring at its contents and feeling overwhelmed, I felt myself trying to shove everything back into that box and lock it away. I saw myself standing there with the lid and flap closed holding the lock and ready to lock it all back up and move on with my life. I felt the enemy telling me to go ahead and lock it up. I felt him telling me I’d feel better, function better, be happier, and be back to my old self, the person I was before the hurts of this year. I even felt him offering me a bigger box that could hold more.
I thought to myself, I could do that. No one would know as no one even knows this box is here, but I also thought that I don’t need to lock these things away. I need God to take them. I need to give them to Him and allow Him to take them once and for all. So there I stood, lock in hand, everything neatly repacked into the box, the question was what would I do now?
Then I was reading in Isaiah 61:1 about proclaiming liberty to the captives, and I remembered a dream that I had the previous night. In the dream, I saw a bunch of people locked in a dark room with armed guards standing outside the door. Actually though, the doors to the room were not locked. I saw a lady turn the handle, and the door opened. She went outside. The guards were telling her that it was not safe to leave. The people inside were warning her to come back into the room where it would be safe. But the girl wanted to be free and thought surely whatever is outside is better than being locked away with all of those people in darkness.
And what I concluded was that if I chose to lock everything back into that little box in the corner of my heart, I would be putting myself into that dark prison. The one I could leave any time but wouldn’t because of fear.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want to just be back to my old self. I want to be better and learn the lessons that God has meant for me to learn during this tough season. God may not always do things the way that I think he should, but He is always good and He always uses every circumstance to make me better and transform me into His image.
So where else could I go, what else could I do, but take all of this to God and give it to Him. I found a friend to share all of this with and asked her to pray with me for God to do something supernatural in my life that I did not have the power to do on my own.
As we prayed, I learned that not only did God want everything inside the box, God wanted to destroy that box altogether. You see, when we leave a place like that in our heart, a place where we don’t want God to go, that place is not just empty. There’s someone there, and he’s not our friend, he is our enemy who wants us to remain in a dark prison, void of hope, joy, and the freedom that Jesus offers.
So, what’s in your box? What are you hiding from everyone, including God? Do you realize that He knows it’s there and that He wants to take it away? Not only does he want to take it and heal your heart, but He wants to smash that box so that you will no longer hold onto the things that Jesus died to free you from.
My hope and prayer is that you will allow God to TAKE IT ALL, the disappointment, rejections, hurts, whatever it is that you’ve kept in your heart, and not just those things, but the box as well. Don’t allow the enemy, the guards, or others around you to keep you locked in a prison of darkness. Jesus wants you to walk out into the light and be free. You may feel unsafe or insecure without your box, but you are not walking alone. God is at your side. Trust Him and allow Him to protect you. It won’t be easy, but you will be free.