Healing Your Orphan Heart
By Mario Murillo
Hebrews 12:9 “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live.”
“I’ve been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen, boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit; there is no prosthetic for that.” -Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.
What on earth does that movie quote have to do with this letter? It has everything to do with this letter! In fact, it touches on every social ill, including self-destructing starlets, young men who murder and a vast, unnamed generation tormented by the bitter failure to find self-worth.
Something unseen is feeding on the American spirit. Colleges scramble to deal with a surge of “mental illness.” People go to anger management and come out enraged. Miracle diets have made their victims fatter. People go into rehab addicted to drugs and come out addicted to rehab. It is no longer the heinous acts of criminals that stun police as much as the mindless acceptance of these acts by society. Entire neighborhoods concede the future of their children to crack houses, gangs and pimps. An entire generation is conceding their future to government control because they feel helpless to face the future.
We were tasked to reach and disciple students at the University of California during the campus revolutions of the 1970’s. We labored amid tear gas, riots, hedonism and suicide.
The greatest need in students was they had the heart of an Orphan. They had an amputated spirit. They came from homes where performance was everything. At Berkeley, they faced a double edged sword. Pressure to get grades and pressure to join the demonstrations. Neither side showed them mercy.
This is a widespread crippling condition in today. It is as rampant in the Church as it is outside the church. The orphan-hearted feel they are on the bottom even when they are on top. No matter how lofty their success, they cannot savor it. Nothing removes their insecurity because hidden software running in their spirits keeps them desperate for the approval of some vague someone. They can never please this phantom but they cannot stop trying.
The last verse of the Old Testament predicts this and names the cure. Malachi 4:5-6 says, “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
To be free of an orphan heart, learn these truths.
1. Transfer your search for fatherhood to God. Let Him provide the missing nutrients in your past and present. God will supersede a devastated childhood. Hebrews 12:9 says it so clearly. “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!”
2. Remember that important people do important things. It is wrong to assume that if we accomplish important things, we will feel important. Again, even after success, orphans feel worthless. People do not feel important because they do important things; they do important things because they feel important.
Let the Holy Spirit flood your heart with the Spirit of Adoption! Lord, let us see how the death of Jesus on the Cross destroyed the curse that made us orphans and how You yearn to saturate our hearts with the unshakable knowledge that we are Your beloved children. No one else’s approval will ever matter. No one will ever be able to make us feel inferior. Amen.