Jilted

Eric had waited four weeks to see Jill, after she left for college. Last night, he picked out some new clothes and even got a haircut. They had been high school sweet hearts for the last two years. His teachers had warned Eric that he wasn’t “college material,” but he could care less. He had a good job as a roofer and was attending the Vo-Tech school at night to become an electrician. Eric ignored the guys shouting to him on the roof , He had to catch this text. It was from Jill.

Almost slipping off the roof, Eric sat down to catch his balance. There would be no date tonight or weekend to remember. Jill had just broken up with him. Via text. A TEXT? Dejected and depressed he returned to work, but couldn’t concentrate. Without his head in the game there was nothing left to do, but go home early.

A weekend with nothing to do didn’t help Eric’s loneliness. Jill had been his world. How could she have found someone new so quick? Thoughts of self doubt and insecurity bombarded his mind. His prayers to God weren’t getting above the ceiling. In his attempt to get closer to Jill he had cut everyone else off.
Trudging through his Bible, he saw the Psalms he had marked in middle school. Some of them began to jump off the page at him. He remembered King David’s depression.

Eric tried to pray, but his nerves were jangled. He wondered how King David prayed when he couldn’t get the words out. Did sighs, groans, or tears count as prayers? If so then he’d been praying all day.
Eric knew a better mood wouldn’t help. There was no way he clean up his sins first before coming to God.

He could see now that Jill had become his idol.

When the words wouldn’t come, Eric moved to his knees beside the bed. It was there in that tiniest movement of contrition that God responded by bringing to his mind a picture of the prodigal son. He could see his Father running down an old country road to hug him. All of a sudden a warmth and deep sense of peace had invaded Eric’s room. He knew it wasn’t the end of loneliness and that his relationships would have to be repaired, yet he had been reunited with his most important friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Like Eric, we don’t have to spend our lives lonely and stuck. God’s hand of love and forgiveness is always outstretched. Make sure you’re united with Him before beginning this day. Have a great weekend.

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Open?

That person in your life that you’ve invested so much into has disappointed you again. Now you can’t help wondering if they will ever come clean, grow up, or change? Is it so much to ask?

Then Paul’s words from Ephesians 4:31,32 strike at your heart again; “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slanders as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted forgiving one another, just as Go through Christ has forgiven you. “

How can I be expected to keep my heart unfasten and hands wide open in the face of such disillusionment? The two seem so different.

Perhaps open arms are what this person needs but can’t articulate. In reality when offering open arms, alone you aren’t giving anything else like, money, advice, resources, or direction – only unfastened love outstretched.

None of us have the strength to do this alone. To be consistent we need the strength and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It’s so much easier to just enable or completely detach than it is to truly love. I’m comforted with the posture the Lord keeps toward us, as his children who constantly disappoint him. He stays open and ready for a hug of acceptance. Hear King David’s words from Psalm 125:2: “Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people now and forever.”

It’s only in receiving His love that we can keep our arms OPEN and outstretched. I pray you’ll receive the strength to do this today.