Prickly Heart




Proverbs 11:27 (the message)
The one who seeks good finds delight;
the student of evil becomes evil.

Yesterday she chose fluorescent green. The first time, about a year-and-a-half ago, it was hot pink.

A cast for buckle fracture number two in Leah’s little lifetime. She earned the hot pink cast with a hard stumble over a tree stump in the yard. This time a monkey-bars fall bought her the green one. I am sincerely hoping we don’t keep adding this kind of color to her childhood.

Smile…she’s been a good sport in less than desirable circumstances. I am so proud of her.

Maybe I could learn a thing or two.

When I was little and complaining about people my mama would say, Well who is the common denominator in all of that? What may have been a blank-stare at first quickly turned to understanding. Oh. Me. I am the common denominator.

Even now as an adult when I recognize that I am simmering about things with multiple people I hear her voice. See, maybe if I’m feeling hurt or aggravated with oh let’s say, one person, it might be legit. But as the numbers climb so does my culpability. It doesn’t mean that real and valid issues don’t exist, but when my response becomes prickly, when I become offended, then my heart is part of said issue.

I have a dear husband who tells me the truth about myself and I am learning to listen. Often others feel our prickles before we ever realize they are there, or when we think we are hiding them! After listening to the truth in his words, I ask God why? Why do I struggle right now in my heart this way? Why are things, even small things, getting stuck in my prickly heart?

The one who seeks good finds delight;
the student of evil becomes evil.

I find an answer this morning in the verse above. With every circumstance I can seek and study good or evil. I can look for the ways God intervenes and provides and find delight, or I can study what I view as lack or letdown and get offended.

Here is an example The Lord brought to my mind this morning:

Yesterday the pediatrician’s office took three times longer to call me with the x-ray results than promised. Now, I am a nurse so when they tell me an hour I know it will be two. I get it! I know how it goes and that medical staff are generally not evil-doers who enjoy making people wait. Smile. Eventually I received a call asking me to be at an orthopedic consult 40 minutes away…in 45 minutes. I had a toddler asleep in her crib and a third-grade girl to be picked up from school. I was quite prickly at this point. Just bein’ real.

The cool part was that my dad had called out of the blue and decided to swing by for a visit after his golf game nearby. He arrived about 10 minutes before the call asking me to leave my house immediately.

I could have taken such delight in God’s provision! I could have found joy in how my Heavenly Father provided an answer to my dilemma. It did occur to me that God was being good to me in spite of myself, but my heart was bent on being offended.

The student of evil becomes evil.

Not evil like, mwa haa haa haa evil. When I “study” the wrong I perceive or the offense against me I take on an evil attitude. See, it doesn’t matter how other people, stranger or not, let us down in reality or in our own head…our trust does not belong in people.

The cure for a prickly, offended and judgmental heart?

My humbled-heart suggestions…

The Bible says pray for those who persecute and use you. So, if we are seriously hurt and used the first stop is praying for the person hurting us.

Pay attention to what we study. Are we seeking out the good in the situation? Are we looking to see how God is showing up for us in the middle of it all?

Remember and trust that God is in control. Surely trust is a part of every relationship, but our ultimate trust is in God. Where others fail us (and we fail them), God never fails.

Our God is stronger. Greater. Able to do any and all things necessary on our behalf.

This morning I pictured an angel buffering my Leah’s fall. Where before I had been frustrated with another fractured wrist, today I realize it could have been so much worse. She could be in need of surgery or in a great amount of pain. But she’s not.

God is good and in control. In this my prickly heart can trust.


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