One of the books I’ve been reading lately is Jason Dukes’ new book, Live Sent:You Are a Letter. I’ll be doing a more detailed review of the whole book later, but several things struck a chord that I felt I needed to go ahead and share over the next couple of posts. Don’t worry, I won’t ruin the book for you 🙂Dukes begins the third chapter by telling us a story about a man named Malcolm. Malcolm was a middle-aged man, who had seen most of the different angles on truth and spirituality. What impressed Malcolm when he experienced Dukes’ church was the was the genuine love they had for each other, and the confidence in God they displayed (p. 46).
I believe that these two are inextricably linked. Though there are exceptions that prove the rule, I often see that the people who are afraid to show love, trust others, or are stuck in “alpha-male guy mode” have at the root of the issue a lack of confidence in God. Whether it be a young guy who never really got over his parents divorce, a girl who has had her heart broken too many times, or a guy who was taught that “boys don’t cry”. In the end, all these scenarios leave within us a mentality, and even a spirit that says that we can’t trust anyone but ourselves or we’ll get hurt.
We live in a broken world. Everyone knows that, even the most hardened atheists have to admit that this world is pretty jacked up. Because of this, life hurts and pain happens. When we stop and look at the cause of this though, we see that, most of the time, life hurts because we’ve stopped trusting God and started doing things our way.
We all have situations that we feel are inescapable. Whether it be a marriage that turned into something it should have never been. Spending so much time trying to find “the one” when you’re only 16, or worse, simply being terrified at the thought of being single for longer than 15 minutes. Trying so hard to be tough that you forget what it’s like to be any other way.
So what now? What do we do? Inevitably, we try to do something to get us out of the situations causing pain. Now we go back to the problem. Because we’ve been hurt, we don’t trust anyone else, so we act on our own counsel and then we get hurt again. We feel like no one will love us again because we got divorced. We feel like something’s wrong with us if we’re not dating someone. We grin and bear it and try to white-knuckle our way through it until we get to the other side. All the while just setting ourselves up for more pain.
Trust God. That’s it. Yes, this world is jacked up, and life does hurt, but God came and died so that when the time is right, He can put it back together again the way it’s supposed to be. Jesus died to be our solution to this endless cycle of mistrust and pain. So, if He’s willing to die to give you the message, isn’t it worth trusting? I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s actually quite difficult some days, but it’s always worth it.
When we begin trusting God again, we also begin to see ourselves like He sees us. We begin to realize that even though marriage might have ended in divorce, that we are eternally united with Christ, and that He loves us infinitely. We realize that because God loves us, we can be content in Him without having a guy or girl attached to our hip to feel complete. We understand that God created us with both masculine and feminine emotions, and that it’s ok for boys to cry, because we were designed to feel pain and express emotion that way. Obviously, these are only three of many situations out there, but they all have the same Solution.
Something to remember
Healing takes time, and consistency. Much like physical therapy after surgery. It’s hard at first, but then gets easier. There may be some scars that remind us of past wounds, but they can only hurt us again if we focus on what happened in the past and torment ourselves with the memory. And in the future, we have a promise of being completely healed, with new bodies without scars, because Someone else kept His scars.
In order to Live Sent, we must have confidence in our Sender and in who He says we are.