Walls are everywhere. Every day, new ones are created while old ones are destroyed. The boundary concept, however, is not new; in creation, God corralled the sea with the land and Adam with the plentiful surroundings of the Garden of Eden.
“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good … And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”– Genesis 1:9-10, 2:8-9, ESV
Emotional walls. We all have them. We build them, and we tear them down. Though our circumstances will vary, our motive is always the same. FEAR, both rational and irrational, will drive us to quickly erect a Great Wall around our hearts in record-breaking time.
Some of us fear a broken heart or wounded pride. Others fear disappointment or discouragement. Either way, these emotions are as real as the pain that accompanies them. We always hear that we should guard our hearts, to keep them protected from such dangers, so we build emotional walls to protect ourselves. However, if you are anything like me, these protective measures have a rather low success rate.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” – Proverbs 4:23, HCSB
Throughout my dating life, I have striven to keep my heart guarded by building emotional walls around myself. Another heartbreak comes, I add another layer of fortification to my wall. The longer I live and the more pain I encounter, the thicker and taller my wall becomes. Soon your wall becomes so impassible that you are numb to all emotions in the world surrounding you. You struggle to feel joy and elation while still experiencing pain from each new addition to the fortification.
Can you relate?
This place of confusion and defeat, of despair and resentment, is exactly where I have landed in the past. We hear that we should guard our hearts. But what does that really mean? And what exactly are we guarding them from? And how will we ever find love with our hearts are locked up tight?
And then amidst my maze of questions and emotions, a thought hit me like lightning: It is not my job to build protective measures for my heart or to do the maintenance work on these walls. That is solely God’s job. He never asked me to do his job, nor am I able. God created boundaries to give us life abundantly.
I realized I had been trying to be the gatekeeper, the guard to my heart, instead of letting God do the work that only He can do! Hear the same passage from another translation:
“… Keep [my words] within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4: 21-23, ESV
Life. Healing. Yes please! When we allow God full access to our hearts, He will heal us and renew us in a miraculous way. ASK GOD TO GUARD YOUR HEART. ASK HIM TO LET BOUNTIFUL LIFE FLOW FROM IT. He is willing and able. Behind God’s protective shield, we are free to be ourselves and enjoy life abundantly. We are made to abound in the confines of His merciful grace and unbounding love. This means we have a safe place to abide with zero judgement and unfailing and unlimited love.
Ladies, building a wall is man’s work. Let’s leave it to God. Happy Valentine’s Day!
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