Monday, January 21, 2013

When Life Tugs at Our Heartstrings

I am the youngest of four sisters. As you can imagine, there was a lot of conversation in our household. I learned to use my words early and often; it was a matter of survival.

But with the age difference, I often couldn’t keep up. When one of my sisters would boss me in a way I didn’t like and I couldn’t find the words to make my case, I always resorted to the same comeback:


It never worked. I believed such a weighty pronouncement would at least make them clutch their chests with dismay. I hurt your feelings? Oh, no! Please, please, what can I do to make this up to you?

But no. I still had to finish my supper or go to bed or simply endure under whatever injustice was being placed on my small shoulders.

I’m not four anymore, I’m forty. And you know what? I still get my feelings hurt. I’m a bit more sophisticated about it, but inside I’m still that small girl, clenching her fists and stomping her feet and railing about the injustice of it all.

Sometimes I’m just being unreasonable. I think I’m more important than I really am, and I don’t want to face things that indicate otherwise. It’s painful to be brought up short, but like the four-year-old being forced to eat her vegetables, it’s best for me and helps me grow.

Other times it’s not so clear. I offer my love or help sincerely, and end up being rebuffed. Or perhaps my good intentions simply come face-to-face with my human limitations and my best just isn’t good enough. Although it’s tempting to try to find comfort by taking revenge or lashing back, these things must be taken to the foot of the cross.

We have a Savior who understands

Hebrews 4:15 says "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."

Even our most sincere efforts are tinged with our own self-interest. The only completely sincere person to ever walk the earth was Jesus, and he was crucified. He understands our hurt when we are misunderstood, and his death on the cross secures our forgiveness for the things we do with wrong motives.

God is glorified by our faithfulness, not our success. Sometimes our efforts produce the results we desire, sometimes not. He loves us no less when we fall short.

I am thankful for his grace and mercy.


  1. I fall short and you know I needed to hear this. Thank you. I am struggling today and your words are an answer to my prayer this morning. I am thankful for you, and I am thankful for grace.

    1. I'm glad it helped you. It was really just a sermon to myself. Thankful for you, too!

  2. Wow! Well said. Love the part about failure belonging at the foot of the cross. For me, if my failure doesn't find its way there - I disengage. That's never leds to good.
    Thanks for the post, Staci.
    Grace, Peace and Joy,

  3. As a fellow youngest child (but with three brothers, not sisters) I did my share of "you hurt my feelings." I still feel like the little girl on many days. Thanks for this.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm a youngest child too, and sometimes I still don't want to grow up. "We have a Savior who cares"--now I have Sandy Patty in my head.