A matter of the heart

Published August 25, 2013 by Dawn

“What are you going to do with it?” I stood clutching it to my chest, tears streaming down my face. He looked at me with such sorrow as I pleaded with him again and again, “Just tell me!” He didn’t move toward me, but I felt threatened by his silence. I wanted to trust him with my heart, I just didn’t know how to give it to him. I began to hold it out to him again, as I had done countless times before, but then the fear gripped me like a vise and I pulled it back to my chest, desperate to keep it safe. How long has this been going on between the Lord and I?

I hate it when the Lord is silent. It’s the worst of times in my life. Every second becomes a painful awareness of His nearness coupled with His silence. I want Him near. But I can’t stand it when He’s silent. Every fear I’ve ever known assaults me in that time until I feel completely hopeless. I have just come through a season of His silence. Probably much shorter than I realize, it seems like it lasted forever, but looking into my journal, I know it’s only been a matter of days, a week max. But to me, it’s been way too long.

I longed for Him. That’s nothing new. This longing keeps me pursuing Him and I am thankful for it. But today, my heart began to ache for Him and that’s entirely new to me. I’ve never ached inside because of my longings for God. He had always been so quick to console me before. So quick to swoop in and rescue me. Not this time. This time, I was taken past the point of security into a place of desperation. I needed to hear from Him. More than anything.

I began to pray for time alone with Him. I’m a single mom, so it rarely happens that I get time to myself. But I begged Him, “Lord, please, I need time alone with you.” A few hours later, I laid across my bed and opened up my Bible. My kids were both safe and sound with family and friends, and I lay before Him intent upon hearing a fresh word from the Lord.

His Word, which had previously seemed veiled from my understanding, soothed me once again in His gentle way. I needed that. But then, I needed more than that. I needed specifics. What is it that is standing in the way of our fellowship? I asked Him to accompany me to dinner, and there, seated at a table with my Bible and my notebook and a hot plate of Cajun shrimp pasta, He began to speak to me and this is what the Lord revealed:

With much trepidation, I offered the Lord my heart. What I thought was reckless abandon was nothing but lip-service. I had told the Lord that I trusted Him with my heart and thus, wanted Him to hold it for me, but the moment He reached in to take it, I pulled my hands back with a look of terror on my face and began pleading with Him. Demanding to know what He planned to do with it before I relinquished it into His hands. I didn’t really trust Him with it, although I wanted to. I’ve been holding it, and refusing to let go of it until I see my own desires becoming actuality. My soul has been warring against my spirit and the will of God for my life. His will is that He hold it. As a Father entrusted to give His daughter the best, or a Husband who owns His wife’s heart. In both of these cases, the man holds the treasure and knows the value of it, and He becomes a warrior with a purpose: to guard the treasure. To keep it safe. He welcomes the battle because he was made for it. I was not. I was not made for this battle. The truth is in the evidence: my heart is bleeding all over the place. It has been for years. I can’t keep it safe, and sometimes, I am more of a threat to it than anything. How long have I been holding it out there, pleading with anyone and everyone to take it, but refusing to give it up?

Dear Father,
In truth, I don’t know how to trust you. I know you aren’t surprise. I can’t seem to do anything without you. I want to though. For whatever that’s worth. I know that you are trustworthy. You have shown yourself to be so. Please help me to open my fingers wide so you can gently remove my heart from my painful grip and begin to truly heal and restore it. Father, I have my own ideas about what’s good for me, but I don’t want them. Your ways are not mine, and your ways are higher. Your plans are better, and I can’t even imagine what you have in store for me. Help me not to make concessions regarding my life. Help me to trust you fully and follow wherever the road may lead. I don’t want to stand stubbornly in the way of your will because it’s not conceivable to me. I want to walk in the fullness of life that you have so graciously promised me. Begin to take control here in this moment. Take my heart and help me to trust you to fight to keep it safe. But then, you have already won that battle, haven’t you? What a great truth! Thank you for this night, and the truth you have revealed to me, and the freedom I feel. I love you with all of my heart!
-Dawn

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