Fluttering above the spring garden blossoms with its wings of brilliant yellow, the gentle flight of the Swallowtail butterfly was beautifully carefree. It flew from plant to plant with such ease, as God had purposed it. As it continued, it danced its way from the garden flowers and unknowingly ended up beneath a large obstacle that hindered its flight. In a flying frenzy its instinct was to head repeatedly upward, only to result in further panic and entrapment, as it repeatedly flew into a wall of resistance. If only it could focus on the light straight ahead, it could fly free. Like that butterfly, we can find ourselves feeling trapped, beaten down, and in an emotional frenzy when we allow continual hurt to hinder us.
Instead of repeating the same painful patterns, healthy change must occur. The catch is, sometimes the adaptation that needs to happen for us to experience freedom isn’t based upon our surroundings at all. This is an internal adjustment that needs to be made. Nothing in our present situation need change for a change of heart to take place.
Often times our hurt can be linked to unrealized expectations and disappointments we had for our relationships with others. It could be their failure to live up to such expectations that caused the source of pain. Or, maybe there was never any closure from an offender. Whatever the reason, there is this unresolved pain.
The Bible is clear in telling us that the Lord looks at the heart. He sees all those broken places within us and He desires to release us and do a healing work in our heart. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7. With the Lord, we can receive emotional healing without the act of reconciliation actually happening. It is about laying down all the hurt, pain, and rejection caused by others and giving it over completely to Jesus Christ. He alone is our Comforter and Healer. It is an act of complete surrender of the heart, trusting in the Lord who sees all things. Psalm 56:8 tells us,“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
We are to give up all the unrealized expectations and disappointments we have towards others. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We are to lay it all down at the foot of the cross. Forgive those who have hurt you, accepting them for who they are and what they are not. Expect nothing in return. That means forgiving them even though a bad behavior within them may not have changed. Remember, this is about you and your heart attitude. This is about the healing of your wounded emotions. Pray for reconciliation within your own heart. And, ask for forgiveness for any anger or hurt you may have been holding in your heart. 1 John 1:9 reminds us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And if possible, pray for the person who wounded you. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
It is amazing how freeing it is when we let go of past hurts. Only when we decide in our own heart and mind, and we make that conscious choice to forgive, regardless of the current relationship status, do we truly become free. It may seem we are letting our offenders off the hook, yet, it is our own chains that are broken through the act of truly forgiving. Psalm 107:20 tells us, “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” Our angry thoughts and bitter heart may fight it, but when we do forgive those who have hurt us, the Lord pours out His healing upon all our broken places. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 It is when we forgive others that we truly receive our own healing.
Forgiving those who have hurt us is not an easy thing to do, especially if the wounds have been there for any amount of time. But with the Lord, there is hope! He is our Great Physician and Healer of all our pain. The hardest part is letting go and giving it to the Lord and allowing Him into ALL our broken places. It is a decision we have to make, but when we do we will feel free and whole once again, no longer trapped, beaten down, or in an emotional frenzy. Like that butterfly, who needed to fly straight ahead and focus in on the light ahead in order to fly freely once again, so must we. Focus on the Light of Christ. Trust Him to guide you in your pursuit of healing, giving all unrealized expectations and disappointments over to Him. Once you do, like that butterfly, you will experience the freedom Christ designed us to have when we are whole in Him. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
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