THE OSTRICH SYNDROMESearch me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts;
and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
Ostriches are unique creatures. Of all the birds that exist today (roughly 8600 species), ostriches are the largest, reaching a height of 9 feet and a weight of 300 pounds. They cannot fly, but they can surely run, reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour. The thing people most often equate with the ostrich is this statement, “It buries its head in the sand.” While the statement is technically not true (it lowers its head to the sand when it senses danger), it is a statement that describes lots of people.
Many people I know are suffering from the Ostrich Syndrome. These folks have a problem… and do not want to deal with it. They sense some danger or something unpleasant in their lives or in their family, and they lower their head in the sand so that the danger might go away. They wrongly argue, “If I don’t let myself see it, maybe it isn’t really there.”
WHAT ARE YOU NOT FACING?
I recently talked to a friend who has some deep seated problems with self-worth. She was hurt so badly growing up that she has built a wall around her heart to keep the hurt out. Sadly, this wall keeps God out too. She has become selfish, self-centered, and easily offended. She views every tidbit of correction as a personal attack. When she is in a conflict, it is the other person who is ALWAYS at fault. Her theme song seems to be, “Sin in others I can see, but praise the Lord there’s none in me.”
Her story is not unique. Many others do the exact same thing. They do not want to face their own problems. They would rather bury their head in the sand and tell themselves it is someone else’s fault. The reason they have such trouble getting along with family, friends, work associates and fellow church members is because those people are not doing right. Can it really always be someone else’s fault? No! If you are one who finds himself in constant relationship turmoil, it is time to pull your head out of the sand. You are the common denominator.
PRAYING WITH DAVID
Have you prayed the prayer of David in Psalm 139 lately? Have you ever honestly and humbly said, “Search me, O God?” God can and will work miracles in your life if you start opening up to Him. He will show you what is hurtful in your heart. He will clean you up and bring emotional healing if you come to Him wanting to be changed. As the song says, “It’s not my brother, not my sister, but it’s ME, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
Maybe you have been caught up in the Ostrich Syndrome. Maybe this email is hard for you to read because it is convicting to your heart. Instead of dismissing it as another attack, why not be honest enough to ask God about it. In your strained relationships, check yourself to see if you might be the main cause of the conflict. There is a miracle with your name on it… IF you will let God unleash His healing power in your heart.
Not too long ago, I preached a sermon on emotional healing called NEVER TOO BROKEN. I really think it could be a great help to those struggling with the Ostrich Syndrome. Click here if you would like to get a copy.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for almost 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls.
Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you.
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