Friday, March 25, 2011

The Hill


Think about it for a moment. 

What does it mean to you?  Does the word bring to mind a physical injury, a painful body ache? Does the word make you think of an emotional experience? Something you've faced, in your world, that seemed almost unbearable? 


It's a hard concept.  It can sneak up on you and get you from behind.  Other times, it can smack you square in the face! Hurt can be superficial, fleeting, and last only for a moment or it can be a lifelong struggle, something thrust upon you by the actions of another, or the realization that you've caused someone else to hurt.  Hurt can be intense and it can bring you to your knees.  Hurt can also make you angry and resentful...sometimes, even vengeful, though we don't like to admit those urges.

Hurt is what makes you remember that you're human...because only humans can feel that sort of pain.  Animals don't get their feelings hurt and carry it with them until they die.  Animals don't hear the cutting words of another and take it to heart.  Animals don't take things personally. Animals let it go.  Have you ever seen two animals fight over a meal, a mate, or territory, and hold onto a grudge? I haven't.

Hurt reminds us where to turn.  If you cut your finger and bleed, you get a band-aid. If you burn your arm, you run for the aloe.  If you fall and break a bone, you see a doc and get the break set and a cast.  If your feelings are hurt, you turn to the comfort of a friend, the encouraging words of another.  If you feel a heavy burden and your buckling under the weight, you turn to support of those who care about you, to help you carry the load. 

Hurt helps us to remember what not to ever do again.  Burning your hand on the stove teaches you to not touch the stove. Breaking a bone reminds you to not jump off your roof.  Losing a friendship reminds you to not treat someone you love that way ever again. 

Opportunity to learn and change is the hidden gift from the hurt.

Recently, I have been faced with a hurtful situation. I've felt attacked and persecuted.  I've felt wrongly accused and I've wondered why this hurt is hitting me at a time when I'd been feeling pretty good.  I've struggled to look for the reason and opportunity and I've tried to stay positive. I've tried to own those things that are mine to own and to let go of those things that aren't.  I've accepted responsibilty where I needed to and I've tried to trust along the way.

Hurt is scary, though.  Sometimes, there are consequences you can't foresee, for which you cannot prepare.  Sometimes, the hurt is bigger than you.   The load can feel unbearable.  The struggle can be intense. 

During this time of trial, my prayer is that I can leave my hurt at the Cross.  As unfair as it is for me to ask Christ to take this hurt from me, I am trying to find the strength and the faith to give it to Him, completely.  He can handle the hurt when I can't.  He is willing to take that on, and I only need to let Him do that for me, recognizing He loves me that much. 

Hurt doesn't have to be an insurmountable mountain.  We should view our hurt as a mere hill, over which we must climb, with perseverance and determination to reach the peak.  We always ask, though, "what's at the top of that hill?"

The Cross.

The Savior.

The Rescuer.

The Strength.

The Comforter.

I need to turn my eyes toward the top of this hill, and remember that He is waiting for me, at the top, waiting to take my load, so I can slide down the other side with ease.  I will approach this situation as only a hill.  It is not a mountain!

Thank you, Lord, for waiting for me. Thank you, Father, for taking my hurt, my load.  Thank you for your unwavering faithfulness and your willingess to always carry me through.  You are my rock and my strength.  Help me to remember this moment...the moment when I leave my hurt at your feet and can walk on with my head and my heart held high. Take this hurt and show me the opportunity in it.  Remind me where I need to learn and grow.  I will trust in you because I know that you will never fail me.  Amen.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

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