When God is Quiet During Your Brokenness

during the storm

Things can leave us broken with the pieces of our messy and shattered lives washing ashore. The things we counted on crumble like sand in our hands. People let us down. We feel forgotten or discarded. Or a great rescue we’ve been hoping and praying for doesn’t come.

It hurts. You lie awake at night, tears soaking your face and landing on your pillow. You talk to God. You plead for an answer. You ask Him what you’re doing wrong or what you should do to fix it all. You find yourself dropping to your knees and begging, crying out to Him for help.

But He’s quiet.

You wonder what’s going on and why He’s allowing this storm to rage, one that’s been thrashing against your heart for a long, long time.

Maybe you only see the pieces of what’s survived the storm and wonder what good can come from it. What can God possibly do with this mess?

He can do more than you can even imagine.

He can build something new out of your brokenness, make a new way, or lead you on a new journey. He isn’t limited by time or money or any of the resources you and I fix our eyes on, watching as it all dwindles and worrying if it will be enough.

He stretched oil for a widow and fed thousands from a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. He can make ends meet. He can provide all you need.

He is, after all, Jehovah Jireh. The Lord will provide.

He won’t leave you alone to deal with your brokenness. He’s there with you. He’s always been there.

Perhaps He is quiet because He wants you to take a good long look at the mess that’s been swept up on the shore, to remember all the ways you tried to fix everything and how you came to the end of yourself; when you ran out of ideas and you couldn’t see how any good was going to come from such a terrible storm that left you utterly broken.

Yes, take a walk and remember what the dreadful mess looks like and how painful this walk is, so when the rescue comes (and it will come), you’ll experience more joy than you’ve ever known.

And you’ll know it was God who restored you and rescued you from the storm raging within.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 1-2 NIV.)

 

Alone in a Crowd

alone in crowd

Alone. I’ve felt that way a lot. Who hasn’t? But what about when you’re surrounded by people?

You’re sitting by a campfire roasting a hot dog while your friends and family are chit-chatting about the last time you all got together; cousin Polly used sour cream to make deviled eggs when she ran out of mayonnaise, hoping no one would notice.

There’s laughter but it’s too light for you to hold onto, too difficult to join in. Besides, you’re concentrating on getting your hot dog just right. Not really. You’re focused on those golden flames as they lick the night air, wishing you could scream or cry. Maybe both. Instead, you just sit there as a part of the group knowing you’re totally apart from it.

Your mind is full. Your heart is heavy. You can’t explain it. Not to any of them. They don’t even see it. You smile at the right times. Nod your head when you need to agree. And you go on pretending that everything is okay even when it’s not.

You feel totally alone. Like no one would “get it” if you opened up and spilled the beans right next to the hot dogs. So you externally include yourself while internally you’re so far away they don’t even know it.

Alone. Totally alone in your thoughts and struggles. No one knows the real you and you don’t know how to let anyone in.

But God sees you.

God sees you right where you are with that hot dog that’s starting to burn. But you’re ignoring it because the tears are starting to come and you don’t want to turn away because someone might see. God knows everything that’s disappointed you and everyone that’s hurt you. He knows every failed dream and the one closest to your heart that you’re too afraid to pursue. He knows the scar tissue that’s hardened your heart and why you’re struggling to get rid of those walls you’ve put in place to keep people away.

He’s sitting beside you right now. His Holy Spirit is within you; He’s the One holding you and comforting you from the inside, helping you to keep it all together when you feel it’s all going to fall apart.

He’s got you. You don’t have to do it alone.

Have you ever noticed a couple in a crowd, one that’s connected so deeply you can tell they’re together by the secret conversations they have with a single glance? Their interlocked fingers held in a gentle embrace. The tender smiles reserved exclusively for one another. They almost seem to fade into the background of the room, untouched by the surrounding conversations. It’s as if they’re lost in the crowd when actually they’re losing themselves in each other.

Together. Solid. In sync.

That’s you and God. Your Creator. The One who knows you better than anyone else. And He’s not going anywhere. Not ever. So that would mean you’re never alone.

Not even in a crowd.

“God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 MSG.)

Below the Surface

below the surface

There’s a great big world out there with a lot of people quietly suffering. On the surface we see the happy smiles and we hear the “I’m fine,” response when we ask how they’re doing.  But below the surface there is great pain.

Maybe this is you.  Maybe you get up in the morning and go about your day, while beyond those shallow areas of your life, those areas you let others get a glimpse of, you’re agonizing.  Maybe you feel like you’re drowning and no one cares.  Maybe you’re overwhelmed with illness or debt or violence or drugs.  Maybe you feel trapped in a relationship that brings you pain or maybe you feel locked into a situation you can’t break free from.

Let me tell you my friend, God sees you.  He not only sees the surface stuff you show the world, but He sees your heart.  He knows what’s keeping you up at night.  He knows what makes you cry when you’re in the shower.  He knows what steals your breath and your joy and what’s suffocating you right there in the middle of your life.  And He cares about you so deeply, reaching far below the surface.

God is the One who never leaves you or forgets about you.  He promises.  And He never lies and He never breaks a promise. Thank you, Lord.

You may hear all sorts of things as you go throughout your day.  You may hear that you’re a failure and you’ll never amount to much; this may be all in your own thoughts or literally from others.  Perhaps you’ll hear that it’s too late for you; you had your chance and you blew it and you’re beyond hope.  You may hear you’re all alone and you’re going to stay that way because you’re pathetic and really unlovable.  Or maybe you’ll hear that people in your life would be better off if you weren’t around.

Those are lies.  Every one of them.  Don’t try to make them “half” truths either.  Like, “Well I have failed so many times so maybe I won’t amount to much.”  Did you ever think that those “failures” are part of a greater design for you becoming YOU.  If you hadn’t “failed,” you’d keep going in that direction and perhaps that is not what God wants for you.  So He allows you to stumble a bit so when you regain your footing, you have time to see another path, another door opening that you never would have seen if you ran off in the wrong direction.  Is that failure?  Not hardly.

I don’t know exactly why God led me to write this or who this is for.  But God knows.  And He knows you my friend.  Trust that He sees your suffering all the way down to the very core.  With God in your life, you never suffer alone and suffering is only temporary when you consider an eternity of peace with Him.  You have an amazing hope to live for now and to look forward to.  Don’t let Satan or anyone else steal God’s promises from your heart.

And if you’re reading this and you’re not one who is suffering below the surface, please take a moment to pray for eyes that see and ears that hear that you may be aware of those around you who are suffering.  Maybe God will use you to wrap your arms around them and whisper, “God’s got you my friend.”

Yes.  God’s got you my friend.  Wherever you are in this great big world, I’m praying for you right now.  You are not alone.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV.)

A Prison Cell

prison cell

When something takes place in your life that really hurts you in the core of your heart, it can be devastating. You feel trapped in the moment, stuck in the pain.  You try to move past it.  You try to let go of it again and again and wonder why it still lingers, like a penetrating ache in your chest.

You realize the pain has walled you in, becoming a prison cell. At first you find comfort here:  the walls protect you from being hurt again.  They keep people away.  But soon you learn you’re only free to walk around in the confined space, reliving the conversations, the crushing moments, and the devastating blows to your spirit.  You relive each failure in your mind, the guilt and shame wrapping itself around you like the cold, musty air in your cell. And you can’t see anything new, nothing to hope for because the one window is boarded up, leaving only a crack of sunlight to shine through; that sliver of light hurts because you know the world is moving on without you.

You hear muffled sounds of laughter, joy. It stings because you can’t remember the last time you laughed a genuine laugh that welled up from within and spilled out; not the laugh you force because no one knows where you really are and you don’t know how to ask for help.

But maybe you finally do ask for help because you’re so tired of scratching the walls, of trying to dig your way out. You’re lying on the floor, exhausted from picking yourself up.  You cry out from your prison cell only to hear silence from beyond the bars.  You stare and wait.  But no one reaches in.

You fall to your face and beg God to help. You’re too tired to fight the darkness, the depression, alone.  The burden is too heavy to hold any longer.  A part of you breaks open and spills onto the floor.  You can’t do this alone, not this one.  Not this time.

You need God now more than ever and you tell Him. And when you admit it, when you speak it out loud, God holds you and whispers to your heart, “Let Me have it.”

Your first reaction is anger. You want to yell at God, argue with Him that you have already done that.  You’ve already given Him the entire situation again and again and He should know.

But He gently whispers, oh so gently to your wounded spirit, “Let Me have what’s in your hand.”

You notice your hand, the one you weren’t using to try and claw your way out, is tightened into a fist. And when you finally relax it, finally open it, you find a key.

You drop the key into God’s hand knowing you can trust Him and that He will protect you. As He unlocks the door and carries you out and into the light of a new day, you thank Him for rescuing you.  And you continue to rest in His arms as He holds you close and carries you forward.

“O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right.  Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free.”  (Psalm 71: 1-2 NLT.)

When Tragedy Strikes

prayflower.jpg

Mass shootings of innocent people. Horrific stabbings.  There is violence and death all around the world and for no known reason.  None of this makes any sense.  I hurt for the victims and their families.  I’ve only seen photographs, news reports.  I can’t even imagine the real pain they are going through.

Why did this happen? Why would a person do such a thing?  Why kill innocent people you don’t even know?

But this isn’t something we can understand with human reasoning. This is when we need God more than ever.  We need to lift up those in agony who’ve fallen to their knees, lift them up in prayer right into God’s arms.  And we need to run into His arms too and fall apart and cry.  We need His help to make sense out of all of this to avoid going crazy, to avoid losing hope, and to remind us that one day all of the ugliness, the cruelty, and the evil of this world will be gone.

There is something beautiful coming. Someone beautiful is coming soon.  Jesus.  We mustn’t lose hope.

Please, friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, remember that evil is very real and roaming freely around the world. We are seeing it every day.  We must remember that a spiritual war is taking place all around us.  We must stand firm in the armor of God.  We must stand together as warriors, alert and praying.

And we must reach out in love and continue to pray for those who have been wounded by that evil.

Heavenly Father, we need You. We need You to help those we can’t reach from where we are, those who are suffering at the hands of evil all around the world, Lord.  You see them right now.  They are not alone.  You are with them, Lord, and we ask that You would comfort them.  Please Lord, meet them in their most painful moments and hold them in Your arms.  Make Your very presence known to them so they may cling to You.

And Lord, we pray that You would make us warriors, strong in the faith and ready to stand against all evil that attack the innocence of this world. Help us to know Your Word in our very hearts and to speak it out loud, boldly.  Lord, we rebuke Satan and all of his demons in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  The enemy has no hold on us.  We are bought with the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to remember who we are, Lord, and that we are Yours. Lord, we love You and we thank You for Your love and Your faithfulness and Your power.  It’s in the precious and holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ we pray these things.  Amen.

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT.)

“In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.   Pray hard and long.  Pray for your brothers and sisters.  Keep your eyes open.  Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6:18 MSG.)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  (Revelation 21:1-4 NIV.)

 

 

I Won’t Pretend

pretend

I won’t pretend that I know how you’re feeling today. I won’t pretend that I understand what keeps you awake at night or what pulls you from your sleep in the morning.

I won’t assume that I understand your pain. I don’t know what breaks your heart or drops you to your knees in desperation.  I don’t understand what your days look like or even what you’re facing right now, what giant is looming over you while you stand in its shadow.

Are you trying to break free? Does someone or something have a tight grip on you?  Are you lonely, feeling as if no one understands you or what you go through in a single day?

Maybe I don’t know you. Maybe I don’t understand the terror, discouragement, or exhaustion you face, but God does.  He is with you.  And in a small way, I am with you too.  You see, I am your neighbor.  We share the same planet.  And I care about you.

I may not live within driving distance from where you are. Perhaps it would take more than one airplane to bring me to your door to give you a hug, but I can close my eyes and ask God to help you right now.  I can pray and ask Him to bless you right where you are, to help you with what you are going through, and to give you strength and peace during your day.

I won’t pretend to pray for you either. I really will pray.  And I’ll ask God to give you that hug for me.  Right now…

“’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-39 NIV.)

When God says “No”

bubble

It’s hard when you’re a child and you’re told, “No.” You pout or maybe even throw a fit to get your way.

But what about when God says, “No” and no temper tantrum will change His mind? It can be downright devastating.  Especially when it involves an old dream you’ve been carrying in your heart for so long.

It’s like this dream of yours is so vivid and living in front of you in its own world; no one else can see it but you see it clearly. It’s like looking in at a snow globe and watching this tiny world moving and breathing before you.  It’s so real you know you can just reach out and touch it.

But when you do, you realize this dream isn’t inside a snow globe but a bubble. And as soon as you touch it, it pops.  It’s gone.  This vibrant world, the image of YOU inside this dream living and doing all those things you’ve wanted to do for so long, is gone.

So you learn the painful lesson that dreams are delicate, especially those closest to your heart.

And this one was so close to becoming reality that when you finally reached out with trembling hands…you destroyed it. Now all you have left is the memory of what you did wrong, how you reached out too quickly or too rough, and tears; lots and lots of tears that fall so freely, so violently.  You can’t hold them back and really you don’t want to.  They’re too painful to hold in and the moment so heart wrenching it scares you because you realize something:  You’re angry.

You’re angry at yourself for getting your hopes up. You’re angry for daydreaming about something that perhaps wasn’t even meant to be.  And then this anger creeps in deeper, burrowing into your heart and burning everything it touches, leaving black holes in your spirit, and you find yourself staring at the face of God in your anger.

This moment scares you the most. You don’t want to be mad at God, and you tell Him that.  But the anger lingers and you don’t know what to do with it. It’s too heavy, wearing you down, pulling you down, and you want to let go of it.  But something tickles your ear and reminds you of your pain and your mourning over something you never even had.

So your dream is gone, but all the daydreaming and possibilities remain to torture you. You try to look away, but you keep looking back.  You over analyze all you did, what you could have done better, what you shouldn’t have done at all.  There is even an inward crumbling and you wonder if you’ll ever recover.

It’s in that moment of internal collapse you realize how important this dream is to you. Maybe too important.  You start to ask yourself if you were putting it above God.  Your heart hurts all over again because you’re not sure if you can honestly answer “no” to that question.

But God answered, “No” to your dream. Or perhaps He whispered, “Not yet.”

You don’t know which one but you realize something even more crushing than not getting your way: You’re not the only one hurting in this.  You hurt God.

Were you looking at that snow globe of a dream and seeing His reflection as He stood over your shoulder? Or were you so focused in on seeing yourself inside that you forgot Him?

He was watching that dream even more closely than you. He’s the One who crafted every part of it to perfection because He loves you, not because He wants you to run away from Him to chase that world.  And when you eventually go into that world, in His timing and with His blessing, He wants you to take Him with you.

So where do you go from here?

Tell God you’re sorry you hurt Him, and ask Him to forgive you. And don’t be angry with Him.  He was simply protecting your relationship with Him.  No dream can ever compare to all you have with Him.

Ask Him to help you with those black spots in your spirit. Never hold on to anger or it will burn clear through you.

Ask God to help you see this dream clearly for what it is: A gift from Him to shine as the child He created you to be and to bring Him honor and glory.  (It only turned black and ugly and blew up in your face when it became an idol to you.)

And don’t ever gaze into that world again and forget to look for His reflection. If you do, you may find out it’s no world worth having at all but merely a bubble on the verge of popping.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.”  (Exodus 20:4- 5a NLT.)

There is Screaming in the World Today

screaming

This world can be a painful place.  Cancer is ravaging are loved ones.  Alzheimer’s attacks without mercy.  Heroin torments and often kills.  And children are suffering from hunger, neglect, and all sorts of horrific abuse.

Somewhere in all of this, there is screaming.

Can you hear it?  If you quiet yourself, you can.  Those suffering are screaming from the pit of their souls, crying out for help.  Just a touch or a word.  Something to give them hope that it will get better, that there is more to life than pain.

That’s where God comes in.  Only sometimes He chooses to use your hands to touch them, your mouth to encourage them, your time to spend with them, and your money to provide for them.

Are you letting Him?  Or are you keeping your mouth shut when you should speak up?  Are you keeping your hands, and the rest of you, so busy that God can’t possible use them or you? Or maybe you’re keeping your hands wrapped so tightly around your money that He can’t use that either.

“It’s mine,” you say as you dig your nails in deeper, forgetting that God is the One who blessed you with it.  “And I don’t have any time.  I’m too busy.”

So while you’re busy keeping quiet, busy holding on to your checkbook, someone else is screaming in God’s ear.

What does God see in all of this?  Everything of course.  He sees His children, one hurting and crying out for help while the other with a heart too hard, too stubborn and self-absorbed to help.

Which child are you?

There is so much screaming in the world today.

Are you one of them?

My dear friends, let me pray for you now:

Heavenly Father, You see those reading this, right now, right where they are. Father God, You are an amazing Father, so loving and so faithful.  I pray You reach them in whatever way You choose.  I pray You call upon those You want to use to bless them in their need, and I pray You help them to hear You and be obedient.  Lord, I pray You ease their suffering and You comfort them while they are alone, while they are in a crowd trying to put on a good face.  I pray You come along side of them, making Yourself so very real to them that they can’t help but know You even more through this pain.  Lord, I don’t know their needs.  But You, Almighty God, You know everything and NOTHING is too hard for YOU.  So I pray, Lord, for Your mighty hand to touch, to heal, to comfort, and to hold them.  And Lord, I pray You teach them through it all to call upon You.  That YOU are not ignoring their pain, that You see them when they cry, and that You are the One who can dry each tear they try to keep silent.  With you, Father, we are safe and loved and protected.  Please Lord, touch them now.  It’s in the precious, holy, and powerful name of your Son, Jesus Christ I pray these things.  Amen.

Perhaps your voice is not one screaming.

Surely you can hear those who are.  And surely you can help by allowing God to use your arms to hug someone discouraged, to speak encouragement and hope to someone struggling, to provide financially for a need, or to pray for someone suffering a physical devastation, linking them to the One who can comfort and heal.

Will you let God use you today?

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV.)

Brick by Brick

brick

We all build walls.

Someone hurts you and you quickly learn how to stop that from happening again by building a nice big wall between you and that person.

Only sometimes you go a little too far and you build it all around just in case someone else would come along to hurt you.

So you build this wall, brick by brick, to protect yourself from pain.  But when you stop stacking because you can’t reach any higher, you realize that without any windows and bricks all around, you’ve built yourself a prison cell.

And since the bricks reach so high and are so thick, no one can see you or hear when you cry for help, when the dark shadow of loneliness fills your cell.

Only God can reach you in that dark and painful place.

But maybe you’re afraid to ask because the world is too cruel and you don’t know if your heart can handle another blow.  So you stay there for a long time.

Finally, the walls close in too tightly and the darkness grows too thick, so you decide you must try again.  You whisper a plea to God, but as He lifts you up to the top of your wall and sets you there, you totter.  You look down at the safety of the prison cell, the darkness looming below, and then you look out at the contrasting sunlight and the people all around and the drop-off to get to them.

You freeze.  You’re afraid either way will bring you unbearable pain; pain that will wound you so deeply you’ll never recover.  And suddenly you don’t sense God’s hand anymore.  You wonder why, in this worst predicament, would He leave you now.  So you cry out to Him, begging Him to remember you.

You don’t hear His voice or see Him, but you notice your wall is different; a brick here and there has been removed to build a set of brick stairs leading from the top down and into the sunlight.

Who built the staircase? you wonder.  God?  Someone else?

You don’t know.  Perhaps God did it Himself or maybe He led someone else to do it.  Either way, the stairs are waiting.

Life is waiting.  And God is waiting to help you escape your prison cell and the cold that climbs the wall and reaches out to you like an icy hand, reaching from that place with all the pain from your past.

All you need to do is take God’s hand and take it brick by brick down those stairs and into the sunlight.

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  (Isaiah 41:13 NIV.)

A Shabby Little Pedestal

pedestal

Has someone carelessly wounded your heart?  Maybe you spend time every day wondering what went wrong, what you could have done differently, or how you can fix it now.

Maybe you’re not supposed to fix it.  Maybe, just maybe, God wants you to move on because He’s protecting you or because He has a better life for you up ahead without that person.

But let me ask you this:  Did you put this “someone” on a pedestal, idolizing him/her?

God doesn’t want you to have an idol in your life, my friend.  And anything you put above God is an idol. Anything.

That’s right.  Money, success, and possessions can all be idols.  I think most of us get that.  We understand we shouldn’t make those things a top priority in our lives.  But what about another person? Gulp.

The moment you start looking to another person for answers, comfort, and overall guidance first instead of God, you’ve got a problem.  This includes your spouse, your children, your parents, and your BFF from way back when.

You see, God is jealous for you; not in a crazy way, but in a loving and serious way because He wants what’s best for you.  He knows He can love you more deeply and protect you better than anyone else ever will.  He knows your heart.  He knows you.  (In fact, He sees you right now as you’re reading this.  He’s pretty amazing like that.)

And God knows He can fulfill you, comfort you, ease your pain, bring you joy and lots of laughter, hold you when you crumble, lift you when you slip, whisper when you’re alone, take your hand and lead you the right way, sing alongside of you, and bring you smiles from the inside out.  And His love isn’t something that is here one day and gone the next.  It really is forever.

All He wants is for you to love Him back.  First.  He’ll give you enough love to share with those around you and you’ll learn from Him how to love them even more.

But until God is first in your life, things can be pretty painful.  I know.  I’ve been there.

For a long time, I went to everyone BUT God.  I didn’t think I could hear from God, not really.  And I thought the things that mattered to me wouldn’t be that important to God, so I tucked Him away in a corner in my life. Maybe later, I reasoned, I’ll go to Him.

But from the corner I tried to keep Him in, God started to peel away people from my life. At first I felt hurt and abandoned.  Then I realized God was the One who was really hurting.  I hurt Him every time I picked up the phone or ran to someone else with a problem or exciting news.

I’m not saying God doesn’t want us to talk to those we’re close to…of course He does!  They’re blessings from Him.  But if they come before God, if their opinions and advice come before His, we’re in trouble.  We may as well find ourselves a fat piece of wood and start carving.  We can label it “idol,” stand the thing up on a pedestal, and admit we’ve got a problem.

So how can you make this right with God?

First, tell Him you’re sorry.  Then ask for the Holy Spirit to help you every time you feel the urge to run to someone else first.

Before long, you’ll be excited to have a little alone time with the Lord just so you can pour out your heart to Him.  You’ll find yourself singing to Him in the car, laughing because you hit a horrible note and you know He’s smiling anyway.  You’ll drop to your knees to thank Him when the good news you’ve been waiting for finally comes.  And you’ll feel His arm around you, His hand upon your head as He pulls you close when you break down and cry because someone has been careless with your heart once again.

Maybe while your heart is healing, God will open your eyes to a new blessing, making that pain fade like an old photograph in a discarded album.

And God will be smiling upon you because you will finally realize His throne in heaven casts an awfully big shadow on that shabby little pedestal.

“You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Exodus 34:14 NLT.)