Have you ever had a day (or week, or month) where your heart is heavy and your sins are before you and God is distant? Or you are struggling deeply with something and those you turn to for help, counsel or friendship just (without meaning to) pour salt on the wound? I’m afraid I’ve been there. I’ve also been the inadvertent friend to pour salt on the wound. Hear what Becoming God’s True Woman says this week…
…others may heap upon us by suggesting that something is wrong with us unless we are in full bloom all the time. There are always those who are quick to tell us what we are doing wrong and why God is punishing us. Perhaps we don’t pray enough, fast enough, or have enough faith. Or maybe God is exacting revenge for one of our shortcomings. So on top of being cut down to a nub, we must sometimes endure the misunderstanding of well-meaning friends.
DeMoss, Nancy Leigh (2008-10-31). Becoming God’s True Woman (Kindle Locations 1538-1541). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
Pruning is a part of our Christian walk. All of us have been there and will be there again. God is not content to leave us where we are; He wants to make us into the image of His Son. He is the gardener, pruning back the dead or diseased parts of us so we can focus and grow in health. Unfortunately, it’s hard to explain when we are undergoing such pruning to others; it can often sound apathetic, or depressing as we deal with the natural discomfort of such a time while trying to be willing and trusting God. Words fail us so many times. They fail me. This starts a breeding ground for misunderstanding and pain.
I don’t want to be glib in offering comfort to a hurting friend. I want to prayerfully think about the effects of my words, remembering my own pain when well-intentioned friends suggested 5 steps to healing or 6 verses to pray to renew your passion. So many times I want someone to listen and cry with me, pray with me…trusting God to work instead of plying me with the quick fix. But I have done the very same to others, not meaning to be insensitive, but being so anyway. God help me from seeking to fix others!! Instead, I want to be a comforter and encourager, because none of us know the pruning being done in another’s life. And it hurts enough on its own.