Sunday, August 31, 2014

Giving Good Gifts

(My own photo.)
God restores my soul.

What part of me is my soul? My spirit is one with His, my body is my flesh and blood, but my soul is comprised of my mind, will and emotions. All of those parts of me have been influenced, and sadly, damaged by the world.

God restores me through various means; often just a walk through the beautiful creation of the nature around me brings incredible healing. But one of my favorite ways is when He touches me through my friends and their encouragement and the parts of life they share in with me. Most of the time they probably don’t even realize the healing they impart to me. Maybe that’s because God is actually the One imparting the healing, He’s just doing it through them; through you!

One little reminder of love that brings me healing is a gift my friend Marie gave me. Though my friends can be very giving, Marie’s gift illustrated to me one of the many times she listens to me. Being heard and acknowledged brings tremendous healing.

I drink a lot of water and had mentioned, off the cuff, that when at home I should drink from a glass, not bottled water. I hate contributing to the plastic problems we have in our earthly environment. During a visit with Marie, she gave me a cup; perfect for my needs. I don’t sip from this cup, I guzzle. I drink more water than anyone I know. But, each drink from the cup reminds me that she loves me and she listens to me and that she chooses to allow God to restore my soul through her and our relationship. It was a simple gesture, but it came from pure motives and a loving heart. I love her for this.

I find it quite easy to love most everyone. But, certain people more significantly write their names on our hearts. Marie is one of those people. God bless you, Marie.

There are so many ways we can allow God’s healing to pour through us into those we love, and even into the strangers we meet every day. If you take a few minutes, I’m sure you can come up with a list of ways God has poured into you through the people around you. Sure, you can come up with a list of ways people have hurt you, too. What kind of person do you want to be? One that drips with healing or one that inflicts injury, {most commonly the kind of wounds we can’t always see with our eyes)? We can bring healing just as easily as we can hurt. We get to choose which words and actions we’ll use.

I’ll bet we’ve all heard the phrase, “Hurt people hurt people”. The truth of the matter is that when we inflict pain on those around us, it’s not always intentional. When acting from a place of hurt, we do hurtful things, sometimes, without even realizing it.

Often, we can’t help but ask, “But when is someone going to pour into me?” If someone shares healing with us, we can pass it along, blessing others from our place of healing. It can feel impossible to help others when we’re hurting so badly ourselves. We might be overlooking the actual sources of our distress, or even be in denial about the wounds we bear; being blinded by our pain. That definitely makes it harder to give good gifts to others and can prevent us from seeing ugliness we might be spewing about into the lives of those we love.

But, God does not leave us helpless or without resources. His Word is filled with power and tools to make us more like Him; whole. When our pain is so great that we refuse (consciously or not) to turn away from His Word, rather than to it, He sends someone along to take our hand, or our heart, and lead us to Him. Of course, we always have the option of pulling away from the help He sends to us.

Some of the biggest sacrifices we can make are through allowing God to act through us, even when we ourselves are in insurmountable pain. And sometimes, some of our biggest healing comes through the self-sacrificial love we choose to share.

Whether it’s through a token of our love, or through our actions, we’re all capable of showing our love, even when we’re tempted to act selfishly. We can do this only when we yield to God and what He shows us to do.

How has God been pouring into you? How has He been pouring through you?

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” – James 4:7-8 (NIV) 


  1. So true in our lives that when we deal with hurt people, they do things that only hurt people can understand. I see several types of pain, physical, emotional and spiritual. Dealing with physical pain I have been pinched, kicked, bitten, punched and poked. All of which comes with the job so to speak. Each act is subsequently followed up by an apology which is accepted and theirs little to no feeling of loss. Emotional pain lashes out with a wicked tongue causing acid like damage to the target. But spiritual pain comes for the lack of or absence of God. Dealing with these individuals their loss of hope and moral basis on man comes at a price of deep loneliness and darkness that is only seen in the mirror, covets the light of others only to try and extinguish its brightness as the darkness is so afraid of the light. There is no comfort in being an atheists, other than they will not have to stand before God.

  2. There's such painful reality in what you say. Our pastor is fond of saying that in the contest between light and darkness, light always wins. But, what goes on in the darkness before we let the Light inside causes wounds to ache all the more intently and despair to swallow us up. However, God doesn't miss a thing. He's never out of reach, He's always present, whether we acknowledge Him or not. He was there as I walked through the darkest places in my life, I didn't see Him until I opened my eyes. I couldn't share Him until I opened my heart....