Devotions

When I Want to Close the Door to My Heart

August 9, 2019
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“As I looked, ‘thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.’” Daniel 7:9a (NIV)
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I stood in the parking lot paralyzed, my eyes moving back and forth from her to my two children playing in the backseat. She stood there, relentlessly spewing hatred at me like a hose that had been unkinked. How could a family member say these things? How could she say she loves me one minute, and then hate me with such sincerity in the next?

But that’s what addiction does. It takes real feelings, real love, real connection and throws them into a blender to be lost to confusion and self-betrayal.

That day came to be known as “the parking lot day,” a day that marked me forever. It was burnt into my memory and still whispers the hateful reminder, “You tried, but you couldn’t fix it … you’ll never be able to fix it.” In that moment I wanted to scream and spew angry words back at her, but simultaneously, I wanted to crumble. To feel my face in the black asphalt and cry tears of piercing sadness for all that I had lost in a person I had loved so much.

That moment was years ago, but the memory of it chases away my confidence regularly. It tempts me to doubt God and myself, and makes me want to close the door to my heart and never open it again.

I bet you have a “parking lot day,” too. The day that changed you forever.

Maybe it was when “he left” or when “she died” or when “it ended.” It sneaks up in our thoughts while we’re driving, making dinner or scrolling through social media. It snatches away our innocence, and it plants lies that strangle out our peace and joy.

It sounds almost too hopeful, but it’s possible we weren’t alone on “that day.” That very moment was seen, and every painful word and vengeful action can be carried by the Creator of the Universe, the One who sits on the throne, the One called in Scripture, “The Ancient of Days.”

It’s hard for our human hearts to believe it, but we don’t have to carry that moment anymore. We only need to see that He was there. He saw everything. He cares about every moment, and He wants to lift the burden of that moment off our shoulders and place it on His own.

“Ancient of Days” … we don’t hear that phrase much, and it sounds old and stuffy, like we’d find it on my grandfather’s bookshelf.

But it’s a good phrase because it reminds us that He came before that day in the parking lot ever existed. He was there before “she died” or “it ended,” and He came before this day we are sitting in right now.

Daniel 7 calls our God the “Ancient of Days,” the One who came before all days and is in all days. He is holding ALL your days in His Ancient of Days, and He’s sitting on His throne, fully in control. And this same Ancient of Days tells us to practice “casting all your cares on Him for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7, AMP).

“That day” is a burden, heavy and real … and it no longer needs to be carried by you when you can cast it on Him. The Ancient of Days was there, and you were not alone; He saw it all.

So, every time those sneaky reminders of “that day” slither their way into your thoughts while you’re cooking or driving, gently remind yourself that it was only one day in all of your days. It is not a burden you have to carry anymore, and your days are held by the Ancient of Days who loves you and is still on His throne, fully in control.

Dear God, “that day” was very real, and it hurt. Will You help me take the burden of that day and place it on Your shoulders, not mine? Remind me that all my days are held by You, and I am never alone in any one of those days. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

 

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REFLECT AND RESPOND

It’s so easy to pick burdens back up that we’ve handed over to God. What can you do to help yourself remember to hand things back over to God when you’ve picked them back up?

Do you have a “parking lot day” that comes to mind? We’d love to hear from you and be praying for you. Share a brief story or just a single word, so we know how to pray!

© 2019 by Meredith Brock. All rights reserved.

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