Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
February 8, 2005
Encouragement for Today
Is There a Snake in Your Life?
Mary Nash, Certified Speaker, Proverbs 31 Ministry
"He reveals the deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with him." Daniel 2:22 (NIV)
Everyone has pain in their lives, some more than others. There are many kinds of pain. Physical pain can come and go but emotional pain seems to hang on forever. It can be so personal, will consume your life and permeate every thing you do. Getting rid of pain is not easy and often demands a long arduous journey of years. Dealing with pain can be especially difficult if someone in your past robbed you of your trust, your joy or the innocence of childhood.
Many people are in the habit of carrying around the pain from their past. They walk, not in the light of the promises of God, but in the shadows of a dark room where reflections are scary and the light eludes them. I was one of those people for many years. I lived with a "snake" in my life. One I hated. Instead of turning the light on to find the snake and kill it, I was constantly running as fast as I could, trying to stay in front of it. I knew in my heart that God was big enough to handle the snake but I seemed to have forged an unhealthy friendship with it that I was not willing to give up.
In searching for a way to rid myself of the snake, I learned some things. First, there is no simple or magical cure for resolving past hurts, but there is a pathway toward restoration. Forgiving and forgetting is a great thing to do - if you can - but not always the answer. Remembering and choosing to forgive will always bring honor, maturity and a certain peace to your life. Pain from the past will always find a way to creep into daily life. We have to find a way to deal with it.
We should raise our wounded spirit up to the Father. He will hear our cry.
Too many times, we condemn ourselves by thinking "A spiritual person should not feel that way." We back away from God instead of running toward him. Then we don't understand that the hurts of the past are blocking a vital fellowship with God. Problems do not just go away if we ignore them. They soon consume our lives. Constantly raise your prayers to the "keeper" of promises. As the old Gospel song says, "Have a little talk with Jesus and tell him all about your troubles".
We need to seek help in repairing any broken or shattered relationships. God commands us to do so.
Repair is a descriptive word meaning to "walk in or around, to close up, hedge or enclose." When we are wounded, we need to have a hedge about us and be sheltered or nurtured within a protective environment. It's like cleaning a wound and then putting a bandage on it for protection. We can find that hedge by seeking godly counsel and surrounding ourselves with Christian friends who care about us. Sometimes the wound is closed on the outside but infection remains on the inside. It will always bother us, just like a snake in a dark room, until we examine the problem, put it on the table and take a close look at it. The truth will free us from the problem. Circumstances may not change but our attitude will.
We can have restoration. Restoration means to rescue, retrieve or to bring back home.
When we are badly hurt, we are badly in need of restoration. We must be brought home again. But our wounds keep us bound and immobilized. We can be restored again if we return to the One who is able to restore and heal from the inside out.
If you have a snake in your life, consider your needs carefully and make yourself available to the Holy Spirit for his restorative work. Raise your problems to God by falling on your knees. Ask the Holy Spirit to build a hedge of protection around you to do a healing work in your life. Then be open to the restoration.
Ask for God's enlightenment to penetrate the dark areas of your hurt. It is only through this exposure that you can truly begin to face what has happened in your past and move on through the healing process. The key to restoration is you. Will you allow the "snake" to run rampant in your life, or will you step out in healing faith.
My Prayer for Today:
Father, please help us begin to expose those troubling areas of our lives. Shine your light on them and please show us our part in killing the snakes in our lives. Open our hearts and minds as we give you permission and time to work. Amen.
If you are serious about release and peace, you must first recognize the fact that you have a problem. Then raise it up to God - find a way to repair the hurt caused by others - giving it all to God. Trust him to repair the hurt and restore you to a free and loving relationship with Him. He is waiting on you to come.
"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NLT)
"For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory and the ones who win the battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5 (NLT)
"Keep me, as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me." Psalm 17:8 (NIV)
New! Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
For Those Who Hurt by Mary Southerland
Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland