Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
When was the last time that you talked to somebody else? Really talked? About the hard, rough, and bothersome parts of your life?
Those questions could be more specific: Do you have a person in your life with whom you can be completely open and honest? One that will listen, not out of duty, but desire? To whom do you talk?
We insulate and isolate ourselves from others, both from speaking to them and from hearing from them, and then wonder why on earth we don’t connect. And, when we do speak, it’s something like this, “How are you?”
I do realize that this common exchange is not the place to bring up the weighty issues of life. No one expects the greeting to sound like…
“How are you?”
“Let me tell you all about it, first…”
Nor should it sound like that, but the vague, pleasant and safe “fine” (when, in fact, things are not “fine”) rings hollow in the mouth of the speaker and pushes him away from others. At times, we take the same approach when speaking to God. We try to gloss over and hide our true emotions and thoughts, and all the while He knows.
When we read Psalms, we realize that David didn’t keep much to himself…
I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Psalm 42:9).
My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:4-5).
Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! (Psalm 58:6).
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2).
I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:1-3).
Whether mourning, confused, angry, or filled with praise, David made it clear to God (and moreover himself) what was going on within his heart and mind. Yet we go about as though we have no need to be known, no need to be honest, no need to share with God or a friend the deepest hurts, disappointments or anxieties. We need that connection to grow. That sharing may take place in a small group setting, or with a person willing to pray for you, or with that close friend with whom you can share your heart and be safe. Whatever the context, we must remember: we are not designed to be “lone wolf” Christians.
Are you being completely honest with God?
Do you have someone with whom you can talk openly and freely?
Do you see our deep need for authenticity?
We would be completely honest with God when we call to him. – Psalm 145:18 The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth.
We would have healthy relationships (especially during this season) with friends who speak honestly with us, even if they must wound us out of a heart of love. – Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
We would grow in our faith by interacting with others and encourage others to growth as well. – Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
We will seek to walk alongside those who live according to God’s wisdom. – Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.