A Shabby Little 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.)

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.)