God has a gathering heart. When Jesus was lamenting over Jerusalem, He said: “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)
As I stated in Part 3, emotions (positive or negative) put us in touch with our true selves, after which comes the opportunity of re-directing our feelings into a renewed mind. Emotions that resist change are rooted in systems of thought. Strong emotion is backed by strong thinking.
Strong feelings that are Goliath in nature (seemingly insurmountable) draw their power from an unending propaganda of lies. The mental tapes are in continual “play” – definitive statements made over us in childhood by authority figures. The redemptive frame for the painting called “me” requires that I unpack my story line. God desires to re-write the messages, deliver me from lies, and establish me in truth.
One non-negotiable point: the orphan must choose to submit his or her heart to the love of God. This is a formidable hurdle to overcome when basic trust in parental authority was never accomplished. Basic trust requires that I be real and vulnerable, keeping my heart open even when it hurts. Fear is a lonely prison. To choose the supposed safety of living with a closed heart is to actually choose a more difficult path. The enemy already holds sway in those closed off areas of the heart and he is never content in what he has; he always seeks for deeper control. Not only will you remain stuck with an attic full of unhealed hurt, but you will live out of this source, hurting people around you in the process. We give to others from what we’ve stored up in ourselves.
A closed heart is an isolated heart, that manifests an independent, self-reliant attitude. The potential for meaningful relationships will be hard pressed to find any depth of soil in which to grow. In this scenario, we are controlling relationships to compensate for our fear of intimacy. The outcome: we are doing to people what we fear they will do to us – rejection.
The orphan heart battles with being emotionally homeless. Everyone seeks shelter somewhere; thus the orphan will always wander; chasing counterfeit affections. Passions of the flesh will entice into all forms of addictive behavior such as food, alcohol, drugs, sex, and various other forms of escapism. We will also remain prone towards unhealthy investments into possessions, performance, position, and people (making them a primary source above God).
The Path of Restoration: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore (turn) the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse (destruction). Malachi 4:5-6
To be continued…