I’m coming to realize that growth is just as much about becoming strong in Word, as it is willing to stay sensitive in spirit.
When I read the stories of mighty men, valiant warriors and virtuous women; I see a common thread woven throughout the borders of their being – it’s called sensitivity.
(Ahem), not the kind that quickly takes offense at every wrong gesture, action or word. But rather it’s courteous, considerate and cautious with how the hurts of others are handled. At the heart of these sensitive men and women, was a heart sensitive to God’s.
David – brave boy, turned ruling king, giant slayer and warrior; yet all wrapped within a worshipper’s heart. Power and might ran through his veins – because his source of strength was found in dwelling close to the heartbeat of God.
“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him… But David found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
David was fiercely confident when facing his foe, because his faith was rooted firmly in the one who remains fiercely loyal in the face of trial. He was strong because he was sensitive – sensitive to the precepts of God.
What if being sensitive is key to receiving God’s strength? And what if telling others to ‘toughen up‘ only tears them down?
I don’t see those words in His Word. Instead, I read ones like this:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
And I’m discovering that the backbone of those that stand ‘courageously strong’ – is a bowed down, sensitive spirit.
And what if becoming ‘tough’ desensitizes us to the genuine cares and concerns of others?
He whispers, let the hard things – the heartaches, the crushing challenges, even the unpleasant moments, humble you with sensitivity, yet equip you with greater endurance.
If I’m to be conformable and pliable, made more into His likeness, I must let the Master remove me from the miry pit of pride – which really is nothing more than a false sense of security. Because being ‘tough’ is not the same as being strong. And…
The route to real strength – is radical surrender.
It’s what makes the sensitive – strong!
Yet, to rise to such courage, I must submit to deeper dependance – deeply depending on Scripture. For we don’t need to strive in our own strength to be strong – we just need to submit and surrender to His.
Because what is living head-strong with a weak heart, really worth?
My chiropractor reminds me, “You had a deep injury long ago and it can effect the mobility in your neck.” So some days, I stretch and massage these muscles to loosen them before driving because the stiffness limits me. It limits my view and prevents me seeing what is coming. I’ve experienced the discomfort of a stiff neck, but I don’t want to live in the deception of a stiff-necked heart.
Insults can make us stuck or break us free to surrender. When past injuries remain unresolved, our hearts can become hardened and with the passing of time, we lose our sensitivity – to the hurts of people and the heart of God.
Sensitivity is like a softening agent, keeping the channels of our heart, clear to hear conviction, receive His courage and offer His comfort. And the truly strong seem to carry it close to their hearts.
Sensitivity doesn’t make you weak,
it makes you a vessel of His strength –
poured out to the faint, weary and wounded.
Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak.
Be patient with everyone. [1 Thes.5:14 NLT]
Strong yet sensitive.