We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children —open wide your hearts also.He ended his sermon with these words: Open you're hearts. It's as easy as that. And as difficult... but God goes before us.
As I listened to his sermon I thought about the task that we have as adoptive parents of opening our hearts. Looking back over my years as an adoptive parent, I have seen how opening my heart has gotten my heart broken again and again. Sometimes I have felt as though my heart has been demolished and that I must close it in order to survive.
But somehow, someway, God has always been able to mend it and help me to reframe things and open it up again. Here are some examples of how God has asked me to open my heart:
1) To one of my children. This is probably the most common. When I have been hurt deeply by the actions or words of one of my children, God has slowly and gently reminded me that I must forgive and move on, opening my heart again. Sometimes I re-open it knowing that it is going to be broken again very soon, but my task is simply to control me, not anyone else.
2) To an idea. There have been times when God is asking me to do something and my heart is closed to even listening to it. I have a long list of excuses: I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I'm too overwhelmed -- and yet He coaxes me to open my heart.
3) To the people around me. It's not very easy to offend me or hurt my feelings. I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin and I don't get easily ruffled. But occasionally I have found myself in a situation where I have to ask God to help me open my hearts to people I'd just as soon walk away from.
Living with an open heart is the healthiest, though not always easiest, way to live. Is God asking you to open or re-open your heart today?