Written by Dawn Rutan
I don’t usually share my art, but I wanted to make a couple comments on these two recent drawings. These were inspired by a question from the Chase Bible study by Jennie Allen asking what God is looking for in us and what He is chasing after in us. It occurred to me that God is looking for growth to come from our wounded hearts. He rarely waits until our wounds have healed completely before He uses them for His good purposes. Indeed He can even bring fruitfulness out of brokenness.
That can be a bit of a challenge when we’re hurting and looking for healing and relief. That’s not always God’s first priority with our pain. He allows difficulty in our lives not to disable us, but to make us useful to His kingdom for His glory.
After drawing these, I was reminded of a scene in the allegory Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The main character, whose name started out as Much-Afraid, was renamed Grace and Glory, after which the Shepherd instructed her “Open your heart and let us see what is there:”
At his word she laid bare her heart, and out came the sweetest perfume she had ever breathed and filled all the air around them with its fragrance. There in her heart was a plant whose shape and form could not be seen because it was covered all over with pure white, almost transparent blooms, from which the fragrance poured forth.
Grace and Glory gave a little gasp of wonder and thankfulness. ‘How did it get there, my Lord and King?’ she exclaimed.
‘Why, I planted it there myself,’ was his laughing answer. ‘Surely you remember down there by the sheep pool in the Valley of Humiliation, on the day that you promised to go with me to the High Places. It is the flower from the thorn-shaped seed.’
Those thorns that pierce our hearts now may one day blossom into something beautiful for God’s glory, and that day may come sooner than we think. The fragrance of the blooms may be found in remaining faithful (1 Peter 1:6-7), enduring suffering (1 Peter 2:19), comforting others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), praying for others (Revelation 8:3), doing good (Galatians 6:9), growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18), sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11), and scores of other ways. Whenever we let our wounds drive us closer to God those seeds start to grow. Just as a broken bone is stimulated to grow in order to mend itself, a broken heart is enabled to grow in love for others.
Even though we may not see the growth ourselves, God knows, and we have the assurance that one day “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Images copyright © 2015 Dawn Rutan. All rights reserved.