Grin and Bear it…. or not: The Heart of Unity

Sometimes it seems in life we are told to put on a happy face even though life is going… well… quite the opposite. If you fall… rub some dirt on it.

While that logic is really good for a wuss in a soccer game, when your wound is gaping hole in your heart, rubbing dirt on it does as much as trying to walk on a broken foot.

There was one week this past semester when I remembered a really sore memory from my past that showed a lot of mistrust in my family. I went to them for help and their inability to do so broke my trust faster than a nerve impulse makes its way from the tip of your finger to your spine. Thinking of how they’d hurt me and my desire to be fully known and loved by them was like this big wide open canyon in my soul. For three days I did nothing but weep and nobody knew. I walked back to my room after class, too afraid to open my door that my roommates would be home, I stood at the end of the hall, motionless, staring out the white framed window, sobbing. My pain was my own and the longer I went without anyone knowing, the easier it came to believe that nobody cared. In pain at night, I tossed and turned praying that there would someone to talk to, someone to care. Yet, it seemed it all went on deaf ears.

As I rustled in my heart with wanting someone to comfort me in my pain, God began to move and speak to my wounds. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” 

God was calling me to cast my cares on Him. To be satisfied by him knowing me like in talks about in Psalm 139.

As He and I cut out the idol of wanting other people to fill that emotional hole, God gave me a sister to comfort me in a really beautiful way as I shared my heart with her. She held me and we cried together over the sadness of my pain.

I had reached a point where I no longer had the ability to grin and bear it. In the past my conviction was that we shouldn’t share things if we haven’t come to conclusions with God alone. We should depend on God a lone. I found myself confused on why we needed fellowship, why we needed one another if we had God to share with.

Why share with others if we are full by sharing with God?

I started to find this answer when I came across a verse in 1 Peter that says “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.”  When I read this verse I was like: What does is mean to love one another deeply?

I was reminded of the verse in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 that says “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us.”

Loving our brothers and sisters is not only the sharing of the gospel itself, but also in sharing our lives. When I think of what it means to share our lives with one another, I think about this desire that I often want filled. The desire for people to know me, to share in my life. A godly desire that is a reflection of being made in the image of God.

There is a lot of greatness in sharing in our trials, in the midst of them. I think of 2 Corinthians. This is a very important verse.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed. It is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

This is what I think it means to be in true fellowship with one another and with God.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin. 

You see, we can’t share together truly unless we are sharing with God; but if we don’t share how do we have unity?!

I was going to add a verse about unity, but the whole Bible is ALL about unity. I was reading in Ephesians and was struck by the truth that marriage is a prophetic picture of what was going to happen to the Gentiles and Israelites through Christ. To be joined together and unified by blood. Two become one. Us joining with God. Husband and Wife. Growing together. The Bible is about unity, it’s about unity with God and growing together to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. 

How will we have unity if we are not sharing in our suffering and our comfort?

I see now where my logic before fell short. It is good and Godly and amazing to go to God before anyone else, and we should, we should pray before we even speak. But, as we withhold our lives from one another, we also withhold something very dear, we withhold unity. As we struggle to share our lives, out of fear, we withhold the one thing that God desires for us to have. UNITY. A body cannot be unified if it is not sharing together. Does a hand use its own blood? No, it takes from the heart and the bone where it grows; nor can it live on its own. We should seek to reach places with our stories and in our hearts that we can boldly share our struggles with one another that we may have unity.

Proverbs 10:19 says Where words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds the tongue is wise.

We should be going before God with our lives and coming our with a peace to share with one another. So why don’t we? Well it seems obvious. Trust. Sharing too much. Leading people on. Rejection. =Fear.

But, perfect love casts out fear, a sincere, deep, pure love.

If we are forgiven before God, why would we hold our brothers and sisters to any other account. Why is there judgement, lest they’ve forgotten who we all are? What are your motives for sharing, or listening? To gain a higher standing in the person’s life, or to share in their comfort and suffering? What about avoiding stirring feelings: this inhibits true unity. Protecting your heart… if you are withholding your life to avoid stirring feelings, what benefit are those feelings at all. We should discern, but I question what benefit you gain by avoiding sharing your life to avoid “too deep” of connections. If we have a sincere love, based out of purity, by obeying truth we can have a deep love without stirring un-nesseccary feelings. Avoid misinterpreting people sharing their heart and allow for room for biblical unity to grow.

To hear a person share their life has become my glory. “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:20

As I’ve thought about what it is to see the glory of God, I’ve come to see this: to see other people opening up and following God. The other day I was able to ride in car with a dear friend who once told me she would never talk about a trial we both shared, and as she opened up to me then a year and a half later I thought “This is glory, her life is my glory” My prayer for my life and my trials as I share in Christ’s sufferings and also in his comfort that I may comfort those who too share in my sufferings. As I hear my brothers and sisters open up about their hurts and sufferings, God is glorified by our unity. As I worship beside my brothers and sisters who gain enough courage to lift their hands to the Lord, God is glorified and I too just being apart of their lives.

Find a body and glorify God by sharing your heart with your brothers and sisters around you and get to the heart of unity. Get unity with God.

Also, if this is your wound… rubbing dirt on it is probably ineffective. Good luck. Happy New Year. soccer

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