4) You can be anything you want to be. Isn't that what good parents tell their kids, to help them believe in themselves and have confidence? What's wrong with that? Lots, in my opinion. All you have to do is watch a few American Idol try-outs to see the danger in giving a kid unbalanced praise. Oh dear. It's painful to watch, and makes us shake our heads in disbelief and wonder why no one told that poor kid the truth. Sometime before they were humiliated on national television would have been nice.
Praising our kids' efforts and successes is wonderful, we all need it. But giving unbalanced praise is not loving. It's deceptive and I think it creates a false sense of confidence. It doesn't teach them to try harder. If someone feels like everything they do is amazing, and that they can (or should be able to) do anything they want to, what happens to their sense of self worth when they face rejection, and failure in life? They are crushed and disillusioned.
I DO however believe that we can do anything GOD wants us to do! If He calls us to it, He will equip us for it. David didn't have the confidence to face the giant because he knew that he could...it was because he knew that God could. THAT, kids, is how I want you to believe in yourselves...not in what you can do in your own strength, but in what God can do through you!! There are truly no limits.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5
5) God helps those who help themselves. I have heard this given as a bible quote, as if it were in Proverbs or something. But it's not in the bible at all. In fact, over and over again the bible says that God wants us to depend on Him. To wait on Him for direction, and to surrender (my new word for this year). The truth is that we cannot help ourselves. We need a Savior, who does not withhold rescue from those who have failed at "helping themselves". In fact, it is in them that He does His most beautiful work.
"For You have been a strong-place for those who could not help themselves and for those in need because of much trouble. You have been a safe place from the storm and a shadow from the heat." - Isaiah 25:4
6) Time heals all wounds. I think it is true that time is necessary in the healing process. And the deeper the wound, the longer it takes. But just the passing of time doesn't bring about true healing. I know some people who have been carrying around some serious wounds for years, decades even. Time has passed and life has gone on and the wound has been hiding, but real healing hasn't taken place at all. The hurt, the loss, the disappointment or betrayal has merely been buried. It's much less visible than it was at first, but yet it remains.
I once heard Beth Moore explain how to tell if a wound has healed or not...does it still hurt? If it still hurts, it's a wound not a scar, because scars don't hurt. Can you talk about it without the anger welling up inside? Or the sadness, or the fear? Maybe you know someone like this. (Maybe it's you.) The walking wounded...they are all around us, I am one of them. I know there are some hurts that I have not healed from. One in particular involves my deep desire to be home with my children. It began while I was first pregnant with Nick, intensified the moment I watched my husband bring my baby boy into daycare and put him in her arms as I watched from the car, in tears, because I couldn't bring myself to do it. And all the days and years since that moment, the ache remains. My prayers have gone unanswered and I don't know why. I really don't, and I try not to think about it or question God, but it's hard. I want to be there for my kids. I feel they need me at home just as much now in their teen years as when they were little. I have prayed and I have cried and I have tried to put it out of my mind, yet our lives necessitate two incomes. At least for now. And the longer this wound goes unhealed, the more prone I am to bitterness. The harder it is to hope and ask...again. Time is running out and in a few years it won't matter anymore. And I'll always wonder why.
Even when dreams go unfulfilled...even when prayers seem to be unheard...I will remain true to the God who holds my life in His hands. The One who knows the desires of my heart and works all things out for good. ALL things. For good. He's the better judge of good than I am, by far. What feels right to me may not be what's best at all.
So, with trembling hands I release this hurt to my Healer, again. What choice do I have? Hold onto it and allow it to continue to fester and grow roots of bitterness in my heart? No. I choose healing and the freedom that it brings...from the only source of healing there is. Time itself cannot heal, and we cannot heal ourselves. Only God can truly heal a broken heart, a broken dream, a broken life. IF I surrender.
There's that word again...surrender. He can't heal what we refuse to let go. It's not an easy process...allowing Him to remove the bandage that is covering up that ugly thing that we have nursed or neglected for so long. Allowing the light to expose it is the first step. Sometimes it's the most painful, but the deepest of wounds may take much more than that. There may be lots of gunk to remove (anger, sadness, fear) before new, healthy flesh can grow and true healing can take place. Take it from someone who has gone through this process with God a number of times in my life, I can tell you it's worth it. In the end, it is.