“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 New Living Translation
Can you genuinely do that? Takes a lot of strength. Here in the States June is the traditional month for brides to walk the aisle. Imagine this scenario; You’re invited to the wedding of two beautiful young people. Perhaps they’re coworkers, a trusted friend or a distant family member getting married. Are you thrilled? Depressed? Cynical? OR jealous?
I love weddings and have attended many over the years in various capacities. Maid or matron of honor, guest registrar, serving as minister of prayer and/or scripture reading etc., Each a unique experience that required strength to perform properly. And most I attended solo.
If you are alone it can be a challenge to RSVP with joy. Sometimes it’s easier to decline and avoid the pain altogether. I can tell you easy is not better. . . One of my absolute favorite quotes on love is as follows and it has been such a great reminder of reality whenever I’ve been tempted to default to fear based thinking:
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries: avoid all entanglements: lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
Let that sink in. Have you built walls of protection to keep love out? To keep from hurting? Do you ever truly let anyone get close to you or know you? Shallow relationships are restricted and limited but they SEEM safe. Short term safe maybe but a big maybe. Long-term safety is a deceptive illusion causing suffocation in your own prison slash coffin. Worst of all, you choose and build your own cell/casket each time you let fear drive your decisions. Honestly, can you realistically FLURISH in a coffin?
Ever have an MRI? Not much wiggle room in the tube but it affords more than a coffin.
There’s a lot of talk about becoming strong men and women. Society applauds such strength. How do we recognize true strength? It’s more than physical strength. It’s strength in body, soul and spirit.
All of us need a healthy set of physical and emotional boundaries for our personal protection. (We’ll explore Boundaries more thoroughly in future posts). But for our topic today, think of boundaries like split rail fences we construct for our safety. They protect us from wandering into dangerous areas and keep outside danger at a distance. We can see beyond them for an accurate view of our surroundings and we can move our fences at any time according to our needs. We have freedom to run, walk, play, learn and love in safety. Not true of a coffin. Coffins allow little room for anything.
True strength is power under control. It means curbing our natural desires to rebel, fight, have our own way. True strength accepts our personal limitations, allows healing for damaged emotions and growth in our gifts and character.
This kind of strength requires being proactive and sharing your heart with Jesus daily so HE can transform you into the ultimate you; Strong, courageous, caring and FREE. Unafraid of life’s pains because HE is always waiting to soothe you and meet your needs. Too hard you say? What’s the alternative? Either live in the freedom of the fence you create from healthy boundaries or the restrictions you build in your walled coffin?
As always the choice is yours. Choose to follow your fears or choose to allow the LORD of LOVE to help and heal your past pains that have fueled your fears.
It’s a process but worth every effort you exert. Your walls can begin to crumble, the coffin can eventually disintegrate. You can emerge a free soul. Just one decision at a time. Asking Jesus to join you on this journey is the necessary decision to begin the process. Have you asked Him to come into your heart yet? If not, why not? If so, make the next choice. Ask Him to help you live in freedom. Free to risk finding true love and passion in all your relationships. Free to be happy for the joy of others and be strong to weep with those suffering. Why wait when you can be free to FLURISH?