I spotted her alone at a lunch table, a thin girl with long dark hair and wary eyes. She was new. In fact, she’d been at our school less than a week.
So I decided to make her my lunch buddy. “May I sit here?”
She nodded reluctantly and hid her face behind her hair.
I couldn’t blame her. What sixteen-year-old likes to eat lunch with her English teacher? But I couldn’t let her sit alone. Though she had successfully rebuffed every offer of friendship and driven every student away, I wasn’t so easy to get rid of.
Eventually, she talked. I discovered that at her old school, she had no friends, participated in nothing, and couldn’t wait to go back to that.
She didn’t know us. She didn’t trust us. She had no desire to be part of us.
But still I sat with her every day that she was with us. I missed her when she was gone. And even now I pray that some kernel of Truth made it past her wall to impact her heart for Christ.
Though I never learned many details about her background and who may have hurt her, I could relate to her reticence and closely guarded heart. That’s my default mode, as well.
Discussing favorite books and bargain shopping and cookie recipes is easy.
Opening up to be fully known is hard.
That’s why I’m always amazed by the Samaritan woman’s story. (Read it here.) Yes, it’s beautiful the way Jesus took time for her and reached out to her when no one else would.
But when he told her all the secret & terrible things about herself that she couldn’t possibly have wanted any new acquaintance to discover—not so much.
If I were in her sandals, I would’ve been long gone. But not that brave lady. She ran to find everyone who would speak to her & said, “Come see a man who told me all the things that I have done. This is not the Christ, is it?”
From the first moments of her first encounter with Him, she understood that she didn’t need to guard her heart—she could trust it to Jesus.
I love that about her.
Sometimes it takes me way too long to open up to Jesus and trust Him. I shy away from His knowing & allow my heart to grow hard & cold or weak & sickly.
Yet He doesn’t force His way. He stands knocking, patiently waiting for me to open my heart’s door.
Are you ever like me? Guarding your heart from the only One who can strengthen & heal it?
If so, here are some verses to help with your heart health:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6&7
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” ~Philippians 4:6&7, The Message~
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“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” ~I John 3:19&20~
“For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” ~I John 3:20, The Message~
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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27~
“I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.” ~John 14:26&27, The Message~
“Open up before God, keep nothing back; He’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.” ~Psalm 34:3&4, The Message~
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.” ~Proverbs 3:5, The Message~
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“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” ~Psalm 34:18, The Message~
Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!
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