"You're too sensitive."
Boy, there's a statement I've heard all my life.
I've always had a soft heart – a heart that is easily wounded, that often feels sad, that empathizes with people too much – a heart that's too sensitive.
I've spent most of my life battling it, apologizing for it, trying to change it –
But, no more…
Because this is who I am – this is who God created me to be.
And I'm beginning to see that it's a privilege to have a sensitive heart.
God has been revealing new truth to me about this – and here's what I'm learning.
It's OK to feel sad when I am in a mall or a market or any place where there's a crowd of people – it's OK to feel sad about how many of them are lost and lonely.
It's OK to empathize with the elderly and the homeless and the addicted – it's OK to feel their personal prisons and their hopelessness.
It's OK to be wounded by the words and actions of others – it's OK to feel pained by the capacity for cruelty that lurks in the human heart.
It's OK to watch the news and cry – to see the world going mad and shed tears.
Darkness and pain, illness and disease, catastrophe and calamity – sad people are everywhere.
And everywhere there is sadness – there is sin.
How God must ache when He looks at our world – the world that He so lovingly created in perfection.
How it must hurt when He looks at humanity – the people that He so lovingly created in His perfect image.
How God must grieve.
God has a soft heart – a heart that is easily wounded, that often feels sad, that empathizes with people too much – a heart that's too sensitive.
And that truth taught me another one.
God created my heart, just the way it is…
He gave me the immense privilege of having a corner of His heart.
"[God] actually permits suffering to brim over into our lives. Yet this is not just any suffering but specifically the sufferings of Christ. What does this mean? It does not mean that we somehow complete what Christ failed to finish on the cross. The idea is, rather, that to identify with Christ is to identify with the suffering that was an essential part of his earthly ministry…Jesus taught his disciples--to wit, that all who would come after him must deny self, take up the cross and follow him (Mk 8:34). Suffering overflowed into Christ's life; suffering overflows into ours… both the gospel ministry and the lot of the Christian involve suffering." (From Bible Gateway)
Oh Lord, how thankful I am to be able to feel a little of what You feel. To look at Your world and Your people and feel sad over the way sin has wrecked everything. Thank you that I can be easily wounded, and that I can empathize with the plight of others. Thank you that my heart can be touched by suffering – that I am not hardened to pain. I am so grateful for the gift of sensitivity. Yes, it makes life harder, but it makes your gift of Life so much more meaningful. Thank you for Jesus, and the comforting truth that He understands it all. Amen.
"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."
(1 Peter 4:12-13)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"