On our trip to Israel, we saw lots of walls—torn down walls, damaged walls, still-intact walls, rebuilt walls, walls to keep in, walls to keep out, and sacred walls. As I scan through all my pictures, and see various walls, I think about the walls we erect in our lives.
Following are some thoughts:
At some point, you’ve probably experienced being overrun by a user or abuser. Sometimes, it’s hard to realize what is happening, but when you do, set boundaries. Protective walls are necessary to guard against users and abusers. Never feel guilty for distancing yourself, setting boundaries, and keeping them firmly in place. Walls of protection are acceptable and necessary.
Walls erected by fear freeze you in place and inhibit forward motion. Fear prevents us from trusting, facing challenges, and moving forward. Look at the fear walls in your life and take steps to dismantle them.
Walls that separate are often related to distance. Some distance walls are geographic; others are related to pride, hurts, perception, emotions, and unforgiveness.
I’ll always remember talking to a man in our neighborhood whose brother lived up the street, yet the brothers hadn’t spoken in over ten years. As an only child, I was surprised siblings living that close to each other had created such a divisive wall and allowed it to remain in place.
When I asked why they didn’t speak to each other, the man said, “It’s been so long, I don’t even remember the reason.” How sad. The wall between these two had the potential to crumble if one took the first step—a phone call, a knock on the door, a few words of reconciliation. To my knowledge, they never dismantled that wall.
Early on the morning of August 13, 1961, a wall was built and barriers set in place in Berlin, Germany to prevent those in east Berlin from crossing to the western side. As the Cold War raged, many risked their lives to cross to freedom. The wall was 27 miles long, erected in haste, but stood for almost 30 years before it was torn down.
Do you have walls in your life that have been in place too long? Can you put pride aside and begin the process of dismantling those walls? Now is the time to seek freedom from need-to-be-torn-down walls.
Writing on the Wall
Has God instructed you in such a way that his directive was as clear as if it were written on the wall? Often, God gives clear directions on the path we are to take, or places a full stop in front of us for our protection. Are you receptive to this type of writing on the wall? Or do you ignore and move forward with what you assume to be the right choice?
When God writes on the wall of your heart, pay attention. His plan for your life is the best plan, and going a different direction often delays or deters his plans. Trust his directives and he will bless you.
While in Jerusalem, we visited the “Wailing Wall,” also known as the Western Wall. It is the only remaining outer wall of the ancient Jewish temple and a sacred site for the Jewish people.
The day we were there, the Israeli military was in full force and on high alert, yet worshipers were undeterred by their presence. They read prayers, placed requests within the crevices of the wall, and worshiped.
As I stepped forward to touch the wall, I saw countless slips of paper wedged between the stones. As I prayed for my family there, I thought of the countless prayers offered at that site.
Perhaps your sacred wall is not a wall at all, but a place you can be alone with God, a place to worship, pray, and listen. Or maybe your sacred place is within the walls of your church, a chapel, or outside surrounded by a wall of trees. No matter where, be intentional about your sacred “wall.” Visit often, and then take what you learn there out to those around you. Let your life be a reflection of the God you encountered within sacred walls.
“Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall” (Proverbs 25:28 CEV).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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