Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WordPoints - February 22, 2006

The Strong Heart Is Not Callous
I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
Psalm 6:6
If we think the strong don't feel pain, we know little of what strength is about. Soldiers know that courage is not the absence of fear, but fortitude in the face of fear; and those who are truly strong understand that strength is not the absence of pain, but nobility in the face of pain. The strong are those who deeply experience pain without giving up either their reverence or their gratitude. Rather than going around pain, strong people go through it. There is no shortcut to any place worth going.

We normally think of "skill" as the ability to do "difficult" things. If because of natural talent a person finds himself easily able to do things that are difficult for other people, that may be somewhat impressive. But how much more impressive it is when someone has the drive and the discipline to do things that even he finds difficult. In a similar way, it would be no great accomplishment for a person to bear an emotional pain that he didn't really feel. But those who open their hearts and feel the pain this world can inflict, still maintaining a gracious respect and gratitude toward God -- those are the folks with an admirable strength!

When we're suffering, friends frequently remind us that God's intent is not to shield us from all pain, but to strengthen us so that we can deal with the pain in the right way. Do we really believe that? Perhaps what we believe is something slightly different: that God will help us find a kind of "strength" that will anesthetize us so that we won't feel the pain quite so much. Perhaps we don't really trust God to help us acquire real strength, the kind that protects us without deadening our hearts and rendering us unable to feel what we need to feel.

The immense spiritual strength that Jesus possessed involved much more than mere anesthesia. He not only felt the full range of emotions that are the lot of humanity, He felt them intensely and vividly. We should aspire to a strength that is no less alive. Genuine discipleship to the Son of Man will not turn us into unfeeling robots. It will teach us to feel what God feels.

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
Marcel Proust
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Copyright © 2006 by Gary Henry - Visit the WordPoints web site: www.wordpoints.com

10 comments:

Anne said...

AMEN!

Badoozie said...

i would so love to find that strength that you can use without deadening your heart. If only I would not get burned each time I let my guard down. I might struggle with this to the day i die~

Anne said...

Your heart is not deadened - you're feeling it. It's impossible NOT to feel. The good thing is like Gary Henry said, "It will teach us to feel what God feels."

Badoozie said...

true story there. i was walled off from God for quite a number of years. i think one of the reasons i struggle with depression so badly now, is I opened my heart to Jesus, thus letting in all the other crud, so I get very upset, and cry alot. but i'm hoping that He takes that away, or helps me regulate it more?

Badoozie said...

hey, instead of loitering around over at the gobhole, why don't you put up the wordpoint for thursday and a little bit of an update about the goings on of the hubbadoo household. just a suggestion, don't get all mad at me now.

Anne said...

I've been busy all this week. You're blog is about the only one I pay attention to when I'm busy. Don't you feel loved?

Badoozie said...

i am honored, truly. what are you busy with? school? hubby? plans to take over the world?

Anne said...

Life.

Bar Bar A said...

great post, Anne! Just found it. Wow.

Badoozie said...

woman of many words, hath bestowed upon me a word. a word that describes it all. in one word, a person can describe everything that is happening to them and that word?

"LIFE"