March 26, 2021
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I've never been in a major earthquake. Well, I mean, except for the pandemic. Seems like it's shaken just about everyone and everything. One thing earthquakes do, they reveal the buildings that weren't built strong enough to stand the shock. Just like floods reveal the weaknesses in a levee or a dam. Or a flood wall that wasn't built high enough.
This pandemic thing's gone on so long that there are cracks starting to show. In marriages. In families. In churches. In our mental or physical health. Researcher George Barna released a disturbing report on the damage COVID has done to our human connections. He said that over half of U.S. adults say they're struggling with at least one relational or emotional/mental health issue. Something that impacts their most important relationships: anxiety, depression, loneliness. Always hard, just harder in recent months.
Many times the quake or storm doesn't necessarily cause the damage. It exposes it. That weak spot, that conflict, that hidden pain has probably been there for a while. Unacknowledged. Unaddressed. Until everything starts shaking. Suddenly, that crack becomes a gaping - even dangerous - hole. Things that have been lurking in the dark suddenly can't be hidden any longer.
Ticking time bombs like ungrieved grief. Unresolved conflict. Unforgiven hurts. Unconfronted sin. Things we've stuffed rather than deal with. Hidden, thinking no one will know. Denied, hoping it will go away. One thing they all have in common - a fear of facing inconvenient truth and a reluctance to change. Strangely, like fictional vampires, brokenness grows and thrives in the dark.
But I find a hopeful prescription in an oft-quoted statement by Jesus: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Not "the truth will hurt you more" or "ruin your life." Facing the truth will set you free from the chronic pain and shame of avoiding the truth.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Disconnected - the Pandemic Toll."
All the pandemic shaking has made our broken places harder to hide. Like the damage our anger and searing words do. The dark passions we've entertained. The wounds we've inflicted. The scars we hide. The bitterness we've harbored. The walls we've built. I may not like the truth an x-ray or CAT scan or blood test reveals. But it's the first step to healing.
I've been confronted by some liberating words from the Bible. It begins with "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." So it says, "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (horizontal healing), and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin (vertical healing)" (1 John 1:5, 7).
I got to thinking. The things that cause brokenness in our relationships are often things we harbor in the dark. The wounds that cause us to hurt others or ourselves; they ultimately overwhelm us. Those are hurts that we've kept stuffed in the closet. And the reason we feel far from God, just when we need Him most, might be sin-secrets that we conceal in the dark.
But restoring a relationship - with each other or with our Creator - begins when we drag our junk out of the closet and "into the light." Where there is "no darkness at all." The "vampire" of my buried darkness starts to shrivel in the light when I get the long-avoided issues out in the open. Listen, if a pandemic has revealed a crack, a hole, a wound, a need, then this curse could turn out to bring a blessing, letting the light into the darkness that has crippled us for so long. And there, just outside the dark closet, stands Jesus wanting to walk through all that brokenness with you. He knows about broken. He was for you on a cross.
Listen, you want more information about this relationship with Him, go to our website ANewStory.com. Because the Bible says, "He took up our pain and the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him."
And then I love this last part, "And by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5).