Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Loner No More?

I don’t trust people. At least not anymore. Not for several years. I grew up with a very naïve and trusting nature and I got burned. A lot. People I trusted to protect me became the source of betrayal. People I thought were my friends let go of me way too easily when I really needed them to hang on to me. People I gave my heart to beat that heart until it was numb and couldn’t feel anymore.

I’ve prayed that God would fix this part of me. That He would bring true friends into my life. That He would teach my loved ones to take care of my heart. For years I’ve prayed for this, but the friends still disappointed. The loved ones continued to take me for granted. Pastors cared for me as long as I was volunteering and taking some of the load off of them.

Then, a brand new verse appeared in my Bible. Don’t you love when that happens? John 2:24 was part of my BSF homework a couple of weeks ago. I read it again today for another study – a study I’ve done previously, so I know I’ve read this verse before. Many times, in fact. But today, God used this verse to answer my prayer request from Sunday School last week. That request was that I would find my value in God alone, not looking to other people to make me feel good about myself.

This verse talks about how Jesus knew the hearts of men, so He didn’t entrust Himself to them. Jesus entrusts Himself to me every time He reveals something about Himself, allowing me to know Him better. Even though I behave toward Jesus like one of my old friends who let go of me when I needed them, He still lets me come close. Today, He told me why. Because He loves me – enough to die for me, in fact – and because I come back to Him with the intent of drawing close to Him.

He reminded me that only one disciple stayed by Him while the rest scattered in the chaos of His arrest. He reminded me that all of the disciples but one was restored into fellowship with Him. After all they did to Him, He still entrusted Himself to them. The power of His Holy Spirit lives in me, and scripture says that I can do all things through Christ, so I can entrust myself to others. And I do as I reveal something about myself to someone.

My prayer request in Sunday School this week will be discernment for who to entrust myself to and the ability to forgive and restore fellowship with those who continue to disappoint. The Lord has taught me that friends and loved ones can be selfish – just like I can – and that can lead to betrayal and letting go and disappointment. He has reminded me that He allows me to draw close to Him after I betray and let go and disappoint. He commands me to go and do likewise. It’ll be tough – impossible without Him – but how can I do anything less for others after all He‘s done for me?

Soften my heart, Lord Jesus, and help me to trust those you’ve placed in my path because I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and leaning on You as I do, if I hadn’t known these disappointments and had these experiences.

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