I was cold. Shivering cold. You know, the kind of cold no matter how many layers you put on you can’t shake it.
And then, I thought I should look within the chill of my heart. Underneath my painted on smile and telling myself, “You’re good.” I peeled back the calloused state of my heart and saw the broken parts of my heart.
The disappointments we kick dirt over and move on from. The thing we thought would turn for good but it didn’t, no matter how hard you prayed over it.
The deep love of God would drill down to the coldness of my heart. Not dead, just cold. Sometimes frigid from fear. Sometimes, cold from the numb state of grief.
Other times, God has revealed parts of my heart tainted with the bitter taste of life.
It reminded me of Naomi’s life in the bible.
This was a season Naomi thought would be celebratory because she would be reflecting on the wonderful things she would be experiencing at her age, but this wasn’t her story.
She thought she would be aging with her husband and having grandchildren in this season.. But, she wasn’t. She was mourning loss. Staring at broken dreams. Dreams buried in a cemetery.
Grief wrapped her once warmed heart. It was ice cold. There was no parka to be found. No blanket to surround her.
Her appearance changed so drastically that she became unrecognizable to those who had known her in her younger years.
First, her husband dies. Then both sons. Too much pain to explain to her daughters-in-law, who were also processing their own grief. Orpah turned back, it was too much to handle.
She had one though, Ruth. She adamantly wouldn’t leave her Mother-in-law’s side.
Naomi’s ride of grief caused her spiritual amnesia. She lost sight of the purpose. Grief and sadness can do that. Disappointment can dim your hope.
Naomi struggled to lift her eyes up from the ashes of her life. Burned up dreams seemed to be everywhere she looked.
When Naomi went into town people barely recognized her. She reminded them to call her Mara, which means bitter. Naomi was long gone in her own mind. Her self talk turned negative as she thought about how she went out full in life but came home empty.
Years of pain and loss can make you forget. But God always has people He sends to remind you. Remind you of the warmth of your life, not the coldness of life’s sorrows you walked through.
God would restore Naomi’s life through helping her daughter-in-law see God’s hand and purpose in her life.
They would help each other re-discover hope as they looked for God’s hand working on their behalf.
Sometimes, God sends someone who needs our help right in the middle of our own trial. They help us lift our eyes from what we are going through to help them with where they are.
Naomi needed to see God wanting to do something fresh in Ruth’s life. Something that would restore hope.
We get lifted up out of our pain by paying attention to the pain in someone else’s life.
Maybe, God has sent you a divine appointment but you aren’t seeing it because your own grief has tried to swallow you up in disappointment. Sometimes our disappointment can be redirected through a divine appointment to comfort someone else in need. Pour healing oil into their broken heart.
Someone needs your help, your story of pain let’s them know God can restore them. Even when it seems incomprehensible.
Pain tries to convince you to give up by giving into the despair. Hope says, rise. Rise when it’s gut wrenching. Rise through your blurry tears.
Allow your story to have purpose. Let the unveiling of what you survived give someone else strength to rise through their pain.
Our lives become cold when we stop realizing that we have the warmth of God’s Holy Spirit to not only comfort us but, with that same comfort He has comforted us with, He will now use it to comfort them.
Not a single thing you have gone through will be wasted if you yield it to the purpose of God. It can be used to help others. It can point them to the one who has carried all of our pain.
Life isn’t fair but our God is faithful. He is moved to compassion for us. He lifts our head up and bottles every tear as a remembrance. He doesn’t gloss over our pain, He sits with us in it.
He reminds us in Revelation 21:4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Promises like this give us the strength to go on. Reminding us of the faithfulness of Jesus. We can trust him to once again warm our cold hearts with his grace. He can take burdens we were never designed to carry.
Today, I pray you feel His closeness and comfort for every disappointment you have experienced. I pray your eyes are opened to see the depth of His love for you.
May you see the one He sends into your path for you to share your story with so they can have hope.