Wounds of the heart can grow bitterness. Ugliness. Anguish, or distress.
Or … wounds of the heart can grow good seeds of grain, crushed to produce life-giving bread to feed others. Deep faith can grow with roots steady and strong. Eyes can open to see abounding grace and the abiding presence of the Lord.
It’s a choice.
And it’s hard, but it’s worth it.
Like me, the children of Israel were a stubborn people. Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord implored them to return to Him.
In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. But you would not. ~ Isaiah 30:15
“But you would not.”
I’ve been there. Have you? Have you felt so entitled to your pain that you didn’t want to let it go? Have you ever allowed your heart to become calloused from the blisters of wear and tear as you try to figure things out yourself, thinking God has abandoned you?
But God wouldn’t let go. He pursued me with His love! His mercy and grace, so undeserving, washed over me mingling tears of great sorrow with tears of thankfulness that the Lord my God loved me still and remained faithful.
Yes, even in my ugliness — He. Loved. Me. Still.
Isaiah continued in verse eighteen:
Therefore, the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore, He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
He waits for us to return to Him with our whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. He waits. And while He waits, we learn that He alone is our hope. Our joy. Our peace. In turn, we learn to wait for Him — expectantly. For in the waiting we learn who He is. We find confidence in His sovereignty. His promises.
We learn to rest in Him.
Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth … There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters (verses 23, 25).
A cool breath of wind whispered across my face. I knew it was the Lord. He was teaching me something.
I leaned back on my elbows in the freshly mowed grass and looked up at the summer sky. Thunderheads lined the ridge, towering above me. Behind a particularly ominous cloud, peeked the sun. Just a bit, but enough for me to notice its brightness — just enough for me to remember that, although covered by the storm clouds, the sun remained.
I sat up and pulled my Bible close — I wanted to know what the Lord was showing me.
I found it in the next verse:
Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound. ~ Isaiah 30:26
I realize these verses are referring to the second coming of the Lord Jesus, but God’s Word speaks into our lives today. I know that I know that on the grassy hill beside my home beneath a summer sky, He spoke to me:
Out of my darkness, His light will shine. Darkness will flee and I will see clearly His beautiful face and walk in the glory of His Name. He will bind up my bruised spirit and heal the stroke that pierced my heart, severing it in two. He will do this like He promised as I offer my wounds to Him.
And in due season, if I faint not, He will give rain for the seeds planted deep into my heart — seeds to strengthen the faith of others, seeds to offer hope when there is despair, seeds to bind up the wounds of others and lead them to Jesus.
Dear one, God is no respecter of persons. What He has done for me, He will do for you — if you’ll let Him. Will you let go of that which is keeping you bound in chains? Will you trust Him to make you whole once more, to use this pain you’re enduring to grow roots deep tapping into the Living Water, to grow wings as of eagles that you might soar into the heavenly heights?
Like me, you’ll find that even in the ugliness of your heart, His love remains.