Hello and welcome to Two Hearts True Healing! I am your host Jacinta Wick. This is season two Belonging; A Father’s Authority. Episode five; I saw you. Experts say that for a child to thrive they need 10 minutes of undivided attention. As a busy mom and homemaker, this completely took the pressure off me and I found myself saying, “That’s doable!” I am not sure if that number goes up or down for an adult but we all need that quality time to thrive. We need to be seen and understood for who we are. Friendship plays a huge role in this as well as the spousal relationships and religious and priestly life vocations. In previous episodes, we have been looking at male and female roles in the plan of God that contribute to how we feel belonging and purpose. We looked at the complementarity of the sexes and how they work together and feed that belonging. When we feel seen and heard and safe, it is then that we find ourselves thriving and filled with purpose. But what do we do when we aren’t? What happens when there is strife between us? Conflict is inevitable as we are imperfect and this leaves us feeling drained and empty either in the present or from someone else’s conflict in our family of origin (meaning from wounding in our family unit and community when we were young and growing) in the past. 

The culture would like us to drop and cancel all communication over just little things but that is for only the most extreme of circumstances. As Christians, we are to work through our problems. Yes, we need healthy boundaries, but we do not need heavy extremes on this spectrum of communication to no communication on either side of this spectrum. In Proverbs, it talks of the human tongue and who can tame it. It is so hard to deal with the spoken word. And the tongue can be so deadly just as it can be so healing. What is one to do to maintain these healthy relationships? I hope to give you a few rules of thumb to help in this process and a solid base of scripture for you to pray and meditate on to grow stronger and hopefully aid in solving your dilemmas. Where does one even start? We must start on the authority of the LORD where our ultimate belonging begins and stems from. Turn to Daniel 7:9-14. We see a heavenly court is established to govern, guide, rule, and protect. What is the threat mentioned in this passage? The beast with his minions of other beasts. That of course is referring to Lucifer, the fallen angel and all his demons. But what do we also see in this passage? A thousand thousands of heavenly beings serving the Ancient One seated on the Throne and to the One as the Son of Man.

We are not alone in this struggle. We have angels in heaven to guide, protect, serve, and act as messengers for us to and from the Heavenly Court. What are angels? The Baltimore Catechism calls them created beings without bodies having understanding and free will. Not all of the angels serve God, though, as I just said. We have the beast and his minions who chose not to follow God and who try to trip us up and make us fall too. This is an age old struggle that will have a definitive end and victory in Christ. Jesus has been given all authority and dominion in verse 14 of Daniel: And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. That should give us the highest confidence that we do not need to fear because God is in control. That means when we aren’t we have nothing to fear. In fact, when we are in control, a certain amount of healthy fear is necessary because we fail easily. It is better to give that control to God and to cooperate with his grace. Then His victory becomes our victory.

Now turn to John 1:47-51. We have a moving passage that deals with the fruit of Jesus’ work. Philip is so touched and moved that he cannot help but think of his friend, Nathaniel. Philip says, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Of course we find a little skepticism. Don’t we all have that when we have encounters with the divine and when we have encounters with those around us? Is what we think really true? We are quick to pass judgment. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Philip answers him, “Come and see.” This leads to recommendation #1. Observe. It is an action that means leaving ourselves and looking beyond what we think to see the broader picture. Look at the facts. See every circumstance and do not find yourself hemmed in. Judgment is given not to ourselves but to God. Sometimes it is necessary to ask for guidance from a neutral party who can perhaps look at the circumstances from another angle. This can’t just be anyone. Pray first then seek someone with wisdom and experience. (Counselor, pastor, or trusted friend for example.) We must wait for fruit.

When Nathaniel encounters Jesus, Jesus says, “Behold an Israelite indeed with no guile!” Nathaniel says “How do you know me?” #2 Question. When we are right in the midst of discovering the truth, finding right, and rebuilding trust, we can’t just take everything at face value. We could be wrong. Things are not always what they seem. We need to ask for clarification. We need to ask questions of our own motives. We need to ask questions to find the motive of the other party to see exactly what they mean so we are clear and our judgment is with no guile. And I don’t mean just asking the neutral party but the person directly whom we are contending with, because we all have our own opinions which might have some truth but only Nathaniel could ask Jesus, How do you know me? Philip couldn’t ask for him. He needed to seek it. He said she said can be so misleading and fill the circumstances with confusion when we aren’t actually talking to  the ones meaning it who said it originally. Everyone’s perceptions are different. And the danger is when we try to interpret and are wrong. We can cause a lot of harm just as we can cause a lot of good. We must be careful of our judgments.

Here is the most beautiful part of the passage. Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” #3 God sees all things. We do not know all the circumstances of the heart. Only God does. He knows what was driving you and what was driving the other party. He knows how to best reach each individual and help them. What does the symbolism of under the fig tree mean? It means that Nathaniel was a righteous person and was praying for the salvation of Israel and for himself, actively. It means that he was a prayerful person seeking the redemption of himself and looking for the Messiah. He followed the law without blemish. Jesus is acknowledging that Nathaniel is going in the right direction to find the truth. 

“Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” #4 Communicate. Enter into dialogue and encounter the other person for who they are as God sees them. Not for what you think. When we do this, then we can see the truth and everything can be out in the open because we actually took positive action instead of just assuming. Judgements can be wrong. It is important to say and preface things like, “Can I share how I’m feeling?” “This is how I am feeling about ____,” “Did you mean____?” We must not be accusatory and demeaning but fair and willing to actively listen and respond. It cannot be one sided.

Because I said, I saw you under the fig tree you believe? You will see greater things than these. #5 Action. God is saying, “Look at my power. I can do all things. I will intervene if you are open to my action and have faith that this will happen.” Do what you say and mean what you say. You can judge a person by their fruit. But in doing that, you must also offer mercy and forgiveness. Even if you forgive, it is not easy to forget. Forgiveness is an action that is a repeated choice. We have to give time, but we also have to move toward peace. We can’t stay in one place. Each time we listen and respond growth happens. Humility is necessary to make any headway. Something newer and better happens and we grow stronger and more righteous. Noone can stay in the same place. We either lose or gain ground. It is like a birth. We work hard toward something and then all the sudden we are closer because we have fought to gain the higher ground. Love grows through work and it can also dwindle by not moving.

Truly, truly I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” The fact that Jesus says truly truly twice means that what He has to say next is important. #6 God’s assistance. Heaven will open and we will have assistance by the angels and saints. We cannot move on our own. This language though should bring us somewhere. Where do we hear about angels ascending and descending? Jacob’s ladder. His dream. And that brings us to an amazing story of God’s action in conflict. Jacob. The biggest family conflict you can imagine. Stealing both the birthright and the blessing from his elder brother Esau is how the story begins. Even in the womb these boys fought. But he flees to escape death from his own action and he makes a deal with God. If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothes to wear so that I shall come again to my father’s house then he shall be my God. It’s like he is trying to be wise as his name is (Trickster)…you Jacobed me. But God does bless him despite all this. Over time. But not all at once. Jacob only knows conflict. In fact, his conflict only gets worse. He meets Laban’s daughter Rachel and loves her deeply and desires her for a wife.”Work for me seven years and you can have her.” And Labon tricks Jacob and gives him Leah the older sister and says, “The younger can’t be given before the elder. Work seven more years and I will give you Rachel.” Jacob loves Rachel and not Leah so then the two sisters take tit for tat in sibling rivalry and then it happens even more through the girls’ maids.Then Laban keeps changing Jacob’s wages.  A family at war.

And it probably would have continued to become even worse, but then God intervenes. He says, “Return to the land of your fathers and I will be with you.” Jacob has to make a step of obedience. He gets up with his whole household and departs in the morning in a final act of outsmarting Laban. And what happens next? God told Laban to cease. And in anger he pursues Jacob. Why did you take my sons and daughters away and not let me kiss them goodbye? He sighs. And what happens? Jacob is afraid that Laban will take back what is his and leave him destitute but that does not happen. For the first time in Jacob’s lifetime there is peace. They make a covenant before God to cease conflict and share a meal. And it happens. They go their separate ways in peace. But as he is returning to his father’s land, he remembers what he had done to Esau, his brother. He is sorry. He is humble before the Lord. He thinks of his family and he reminds God, “You said you would be with me. I am not worthy. I came back with more than my staff…two companies. But please have mercy on my wives and children. Deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau for I fear him.”

He made a right action. He went to God first! Yes he is still true to his name and devises a plan so that at least he might appease his brother and some of his family can escape if things go wrong once he finds his brother is coming to meet him with 400 men. He sends his family over the river and then goes back alone to wrestle with God so he can have some confirmation that God will be with him. All night he wrestles with an angel and is even winning. Just before dawn, the angel touches his hip and it goes out of socket. God does listen as Jacob cries to the angel, “I will not let you go until you bless me!” And does God ever. “What is your name?” The angel says. Do you know what this means? The significance of a name shows ownership and lordship over something in ancient times and to utter this was key. A name is the very life of the person, a symbol of a deeper reality. He was given a new name and a new identity. You shall no more be called Jacob but Israel because you have striven with God and man and prevailed. He was given a new mission. (It actually means God contends.) The next part is so beautiful. Jacob (Israel) is trembling with fear as the dawn comes and he goes before his family to meet Esau. He had sent the gifts ahead of him. Now he comes himself before his family as if he is taking ownership and he bows low to the ground in humility and fear before him and miracle of miracles Esau falls upon his brother with tears and kisses.

Do you see what happens when we take our struggles to the Lord? God can do great things! We can trust Him. Sure, our names might not change, but we are given a fresh start and great mercy. We can send our angels ahead of us to prepare the way and it is amazing what can happen. A change of heart. A deep healing where we thought there couldn’t be anything.This indeed should bring us to the final scripture, Psalm 138 (Pray with it!) I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the angels I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your mercy and your faithfulness…you have answered me. God can do a mighty work for you and just as he can change your heart, so can he work and change the heart of who you are contending with. He knows what you both need and will give it to you.

If something touched you, please share it with a friend. I too would like to know how God touched you. You can always reach out to me at twoheartstruehealing@outlook.com or on my website www.twoheartstruehealing.com or on FaceBook or YouTube. Please pray for me as I pray for you. Until next time! Know I am praying for you and may God Bless you abundantly and let His mercy shine upon you and give you peace!

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