At an early age, I had to learn to be strong. My parents divorced when my sister and I were young, and as the older bother, I felt I had to be stable for her. It was hard on both of us to travel between our parents homes – leave one to stay with the other. Going back and forth over weekends and holidays was especially hard on my younger sister. So as the big brother, I had to be resolute as she would cry on my shoulder. Additionally, things back home could get hard, and I felt I always had to be emotionally stoic since I was the only “man” in the house.
Then, there was the fact I felt socially awkward when I was younger in that I was extremely shy. So, I had to learn to fight the bullies and be tough amidst the numerous pressures of adolescence.
Of course, life doesn’t get easier and as hard knocks come, we can learn to harden our hearts even more.
This was me – a hard hearted man, plowing his way through life as a football player breaking tackles and plowing through the line.
As a result, it’s as if I killed an emotional part of me in an attempt to deaden the pains and sorrows of life.
However, Jesus won’t have that. For He specializes in bringing dead things back to life. He softens the hard parts of our hearts and souls so that we can feel again. This can create emotions we may not always want and have been trying to avoid most our lives, but feeling is a gift. Caring as He cares is a blessing and He walks and heals us as He softens and brings back to life the places we and life made hard.
I have learned to trust Him as He heals me and as a result I find I want to feel again. I want to feel as He feels and I want to care as He cares. For He gives us the desires of our heart – His desires, as we walk with Him, rely on Him, and surrender our lives to Him.