We have become very experienced at building walls. Not the kind that protects neighborhoods from the noise of the busy expressway. Nor the walls that keep children hemmed in on the playground. Not the ones that direct rainwater to flow in the right direction. No, I’m talking about the walls we build high and thick hoping to protect our hearts.
One brick at a time we build a wall of self-protection. Often times we do this out of necessity to survive in a very evil and hurtful world. As little ones we learned to run and find safety behind a closed door and soon the enemy deceived us into believing this is the best way to live unhurt.
Layer by layer the wall grows and suddenly I realize I have closed myself off from life. Not only have I sought to provide my own safety, but also I have lost who I am in the process. I go through the motions of life emotionless and quickly run back to hide behind locked doors and erected walls.
The problem with heart walls is they also shut out blessings, joy and real life that await entrance to our lives. The thought of new relationships and vulnerability sends us quickly running back behind the wall. Fear bolts the door; while vows push a chair up close to secure the closure even more.
No one will ever hurt me again!
That will never happen to me again!
I will never let myself love me again!
I will never share my heart again!
I will do it myself and never need anyone!
I will never cry again!
Vows make overarching proclamations over our lives giving the enemy entrance, which thickens the wall and tightens the bolts of the door. The problem is they never bring real protection and security.
Constructed walls and locked doors were nothing to the resurrected Son of God. Having overcome death and the grave, He now simply walked through the wall and appeared to his disciples who were hiding in fear.
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! (John 20:19-20)
This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. His disciples have just witnessed their King, their friend, and their mentor being killed. Of course their thoughts would assume that their lives would be next. Their dreams were dashed and they couldn’t believe He was gone. They hid behind closed doors because of fear. Jesus knows our fear. He knows about walls. Our walls are nothing to Him. He will just appear right through them, and when He shows up, He brings peace and proof. He showed them his wounds. He is greatly acquainted with our wounds and suffering and yet He calls out for each of us, “MOVE THAT WALL”. If we allow Him, he will tear it down by His mighty power. Oh, that we would trust Him again!
Lord, tear down our walls. Come in and bring your peace to our fear, doubt, broken dreams, shock, hurt, loneliness, abuse, and devastation. Help us to trust you again. We renounce all of the vows that we have spoken over our lives attempting to protect ourselves. We know we do not have the power to protect ourselves. You are our protector. We invite you to tear down our walls and allow us to use each brick to build a pathway to someone else who needs our help and encouragement.
The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. (Psalm 18:2)