Is there something to being soft?

If you would have asked me a few years ago what my thoughts were on being soft, I would have told you that being soft meant you got bruised. Period. Needless to say, it was useless and stupid to be soft.

Can you share my thinking? Do you have painful experiences to back this up. I do. In light of this I determined at an early age that I would be as tough as I could be–hoping that this would make me strong. It didn’t. In fact, unbeknownst to me, it actually weakened me. I wasn’t able to express my true self or care for others as I longed to be able to do; worst of all, I was not able to be receptive towards God. Tenderness was lost in an effort to protect myself. And protect myself I did: I protected myself from love, grace, mercy, peace, etc–I kept myself guardedly aloof from the entire soul-ministry that God wanted to get going in me.

I lost so much for so many years. I thought the gains were worth the cost, but I was wrong. I still got hurt–in fact, the pain of past wounds still remained festering within me. I wasn’t serving myself by keeping myself apart from risk in relationships–I was needlessly closing myself from my only exit from the pain–my only healing.

I didn’t understand them that healing is a miracle that takes place in the midst of our pain, not in the absence or denial of it. It’s a miracle because without God this would never happen: We would refuse to enter into such a severe chamber and He–but for His unfathomable love for us–should not have provided us an entrance.

It is knowing that God feels my pain with me and is not helpless to deliver me from the destruction of it that softens my heart and wins the trust of my spirit. I can expect nothing good from God–that is, prepare to take it in–unless I allow Him to whittle away at my doubts. I am a hardened person when I believe that I have every reason to put God in the same category as every sinner and plot of Satan that has ever hurt me. Until my eyes are opened to the character of God, I will not be able to separate Him from the rest; instead, I will ultimately Him for all my pain.

I must concentrate on reconciling with God before I can consider rebuilding myself or any other relationship. God is the One who makes me whole; to recognize in every situation that He is more than able to care for me. I can face pain and problems and grow if I let God have the latitudes for grace in suffering, sorrow and surrender that He desires.

God, will You follow my rules?

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.

Psalm 121 (emphasis mine)

A couple of weeks ago the Lord was dealing with me in how I like to try to separate the secular and the spiritual. I like to think that God can be found in little windows of time and place, and no where else. I like to think that I only find God when I am looking for Him; that I’m the one in charge of where things go with us.

But, how could I think that? How could I want to think that when I need Him so much? I go through a time in my life when I don’t know what it means to emerge from the other side of the tunnel, and I hold onto the idea that God is with me everywhere, knowing everything, for dear life! Yet, when the tunnel disappears in the background, I forget what it was like to be there. I wonder if it was all real, or just my gut response to things I didn’t like about my life.

But even if everything in my life is not much more than my response to things, I cannot explain why I am responding better now without saying that God did something I still do not completely understand. He gave me faith that He will see me through to the other side, and hope that this will all turn out for my good because I love Him, and He is loving me in all that I’m going through.

So, my question is not really am I where God wants me to be, or am I doing what I’m supposed to, but what is God trying to do with me? Though there is such mystery in my life, and I am often so unsure when I take a step ahead, God doesn’t mean for me to figure it all out and make the best cut of my life, but to give me every reason I need to trust Him and let Him lead me where I need to go.