Friday, October 20, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson on pouring out your heart to God

Take it to Jesus
A devotional by Hannah Benson

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”—Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

A few years ago, I went through a difficult season.

I struggled with trusting God, not because of anything He had done, but because I had falsely believed something was from Him when it was not.

When God didn’t give me that which I thought should be mine, I wrestled with anger. I tried not to be angry. But I became angry towards God, and without meaning to, pushed Him away.

I couldn’t understand why God blessed someone else. Didn’t I deserve it?

Yes, dear friend. Those were my thoughts. I see now how proud I was. If only I had realized then that my anger did not stem from simply wishing the gift was mine, but it went deeper. I believed I deserved the gift, and when God gave it to someone else who I thought less deserving, I was angry and blamed God.

Now, let me clarify. In my head, I knew God was not to blame. But it was much harder for my heart to grasp that truth. Thus began a long season of wandering in the metaphorical wilderness.

Allow me to explain. I still prayed. I wanted closeness with God. But I didn’t know how to find it anymore. I couldn’t come to Him with all of me—my brokenness, shame, grief, hopes and dreams—because I feared disappointment. Even though I wanted intimacy with Jesus Christ, my own fear of disappointment became a barrier that separated me from Him. I didn’t know how to have a close relationship with Him. This began a spiritually dry season that lasted for three years.

It didn’t end until earlier this year when I broke down in desperation and begged God for His Presence. I begged Him for closeness. When I reached the end of myself and my heart truly starved for God, He began to unravel everything in my life—removing my distractions, fears, and disappointments—until there was nothing left but Himself.

I thank God. God desires closeness with us (even more than we do). Sometimes, it takes suffering to draw us closer to God. Earlier this year, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She matters more to me than anything else in the world. When she cancer, it was as if God was asking us, “What if I ask you to let go? Will you still believe that I am a good God?”

It was a long journey of truly surrendering the future to God and choosing before we knew the outcome to have joy regardless. I can tell you that God did not see fit to take her. She is alive and cancer-free today! But through such a deep time of suffering, our family was drawn closer to God. Veils were removed and our hearts were exposed before Him. Suffering will do that to a person.

Before Christ’s death on the cross, only the high priests could enter into the Presence of God. But when Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). I believe that God wants all of us, our exposed hearts.When we come before God and hide parts of ourselves from Him—our fears, disappointments, anger, etc.—it as if there is a veil that separates us from God.

Dear friend, the veil was torn when Jesus died on the cross. Why then do we create our own veil and hide from God as Adam and Eve (humankind’s first parents) did after they sinned? Remember: God wants all of us—our messiness, brokenness, shame, guilt, disappointments. It is too burdensome to carry these things on our own. It can wrap around our hearts like chains that will choke the life out of us. Instead, let us take our burdens to Jesus and lay them at His feet then leave them there, trusting Him to carry our burdens for us so we can travel lighter and be closer to Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Father God, I am chained by all my own emotions so that I can’t feel You. There is a veil over my heart that should not be there. The veil of the temple was torn, so I could come to You and have a relationship with You when Jesus died on the cross. Please forgive me for allowing my distractions and fears to come between us. Help me to lay down my burdens at Your feet. Thank You for bearing my burdens so that I wouldn’t have to. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Take it to Jesus” by Anna Golden. Listen to it

Author Bio:

Hannah Benson is a Jesus-follower who’s passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others.

From the time she could hold a pen, she was writing. But it wasn’t until she was sixteen that she began to seriously follow God’s calling to write a novel. Hannah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has at least four novels in the works. For the past five years, she has been involved with her local Biblical theater company. She wants to show others the love of Jesus through the creative arts.

When she’s not acting or working on her upcoming novel, you can find Hannah laughing with her siblings, cuddling her little fluffy dog, or reading books (usually historical fiction or fantasy stories). You can read more of Hannah’s writings on her blog or on her Instagram where she strives to write content that leaves others feeling encouraged.

Connect with Hannah:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.