By Betty J. Slade | PREVIEW Columnist
I remind our writers each Monday morning we are people of words. I encourage them to write about those hard things: things they can’t reveal, because they hurt too much to think about them, much less write about them.
I’ve heard the writers say they are working on a story or a memoir that’s hard to process and it brings pain into their consciousness. So, they stop writing.
When I read this scripture this week, I went bonkers. Why? Because I got a glimpse of how God sees us in our real condition. Paul writes in Romans 11:32 (TPT), “Actually, God considers all of humanity to be prisoners of their unbelief, so that he can unlock our hearts and show his tender mercies to all who come to him.”
God sees us as prisoners of unbelief. It’s not what we’ve done or not done, but how we believe Him and see Him as a faithful and loving God. He must open our hearts in order to receive his mercy.
An example would be when a teenage girl rejects her father’s words. The father says, “The guy is no good for you. I don’t want you to hang around him.”
“But Daddy, you don’t understand. You’re being judgmental.”
Sometime later, the girl comes to the father and says, “I love him and I’m going to marry him.”
“He’s no good for you. I’m trying to protect you. You’ll have a life of trouble. Is that what you want?”
“No, but I love him and I can change him.”
Twenty years later, the girl calls her father on the phone, “Daddy, can I come home with my two children? I’ve made a mess of my life. I tried to make the marriage work. You’re right, he’s not going to change. I couldn’t hear you or believe you before.”
The father says, “Come home and bring your children; you always have a place in my heart.”
Why couldn’t the girl hear her father before? She didn’t want to believe her father’s words. She wanted what she believed would make her happy.
We go through the same things as human beings. When there is sin or shame in our background, we don’t want to look at or admit our wrong. Writing the words hurts too much and we can’t trust what other people might think of us if we expose our shame. So, we keep our thoughts hidden.
We can’t seem to believe that when God asks us as writers to write those hard things, he has a reason and purpose. Someone needs to hear your struggle and your pain. It helps them become free. When the Father asks us to expose those dark areas in our lives, it is to set us free, not to shame us. When darkness is brought to the light, it loses its power in us. It is also His way of unlocking our hearts and opening our eyes.
One of the writers wrote his experience of packing up his elderly parents and all he went through. They waited too long to move from a place of comfort, familiarity and hoarding, to another home farther from family who could help them.
He said, “As I went through their things and all they had lived with for 60 years, I had to write it down in order to process. It was too much to take in.”
That writer allowed God to unlock his heart and show mercy to him so he could show mercy to his elderly parents.
Final Brushstroke: I have found it takes most of us a lifetime to believe what God says. He means what He says and His words will come to pass. It’s not what we do, but who we believe.
We can either believe our own thoughts and words or believe God, who knows what He’s talking about. The love and faithfulness of the Father will be the key to set us free. And when we mess up and we come home with our arms full of baggage, He’ll say, “You are welcome home. I have saved your old room for you and you have always had a place in my heart. What you’ve learn, share with others.”
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Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.