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.
Sensitivity shapes our heart to see the needs of people;
it enables us to stop, stoop down and really see
those we may otherwise pass on by.
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.
“And I’m discovering that the backbone of those that stand ‘courageously strong’ – is a bowed down, sensitive spirit.” This one I’m going to have to go back and re-read multiple times because there were so many nuggets that grasped at my soul.
But … a life lived surrendered. It feels so unattainable at times when I try to consider it over a broad scope. Then again, when I lean into Him moment by moment, tune my heart to His, follow those still, small promptings and obey them even when they feel inconvenient, I see the blessed beauty of living with a heart turned toward Him. Not battling for my way, but receiving His with an open heart – being sensitive to His Spirit – that’s what I want more than anything. To not miss a single thing He has to say because it’s crowded out by the noise of a “too busy” life.
I’m so savoring sitting a spell with your words today, Jess – so, so good. You have been with Jesus and His light shines through you!
Your genuine encouragement illustrates Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
in settings of silver.”
And yes, I too want to live surrendered, that I might remain sensitive to His heart and His Word. .
Your His delight and treasure!!
Thanks for sharing, I needed this tonight!!
Abby – a name I treasure. Meaning – father’s joy, gives joy, delight of the father.) Thank-you for letting me know this post encouraged you!