Lately, I have been listening to the Lord more and listening to my heart less.
Letting the Lord have full control of me and my life rather than trying to take the reins in my own hands and do my own thing has been freeing - to say the least.
Certain things in my life have caused me to feel jealous, ridiculed, anxious, worn out, sad, frustrated, pitiful, worried.... shall I go on? I have allowed these things to creep into my heart, bury their sickening selves into my soul and make my heart bitter - bitter toward those I love dearly. And worse of all, it has made me miserable. Hopeless. Pathetic, really.
I thought I was the upright Christian woman I've always dreamed I'd be... I thought I could handle this, or that, and still be in His will. I thought nothing was too hard for me.
Silly, stupid me. I had let the things of this world infiltrate my heart and mind, and although I had not sinned blatantly, I had slowly quit reading His Word, slowly let my day-to-day chores have top priority, slowly let what people said to me (or even what people did not say) get to me personally and offend me deeply; and that, is sinful.
Why the Lord does not shake some sense into me when I am being foolish is beyond me. Instead, He patiently waits for our world to fall apart in His hands so He can pick up the pieces.
Don't get me wrong - I did read the Bible. I did pray. But even then, I didn't think I had time for it. I would read a verse or two, sometimes a whole chapter (wow!), but I felt disconnected from my Father in heaven. Was I depressed? Of course I was. Who wouldn't be?
But worse of all (in my humble opinion) was the way I let the things that I dreamed of, the things that I deeply longed for - get in the way of the here and now. I reminded myself (and the Lord - as if He needs reminding!) that the desires of the heart are placed there by God Himself, and not necessarily bad. I would curl up on the couch and just weep sorely for the things I could not have... the things the Lord had not blessed me with. I would see someone's picture, or hear someone's news and fall to pieces. I threw fits. Why her? Why not me? Haven't I been Your servant? Haven't I kept the faith? Aren't I healthy enough? What else can I do? What have I done that I am being punished?
It was about this time that the Lord began speaking to me through various means. I began listening to the truth of His Word being spoken without filters. God's ways were not of misery but of pure joy! Why was I not full of joy? Was it possible that I was bringing this upon myself simply by not communing with my Lord? Not only that, but isn't there a reason that God is God and not me? All at once it seemed to hit me: aren't His ways higher than mine? Isn't His timing perfection? Doesn't He know what I want? Doesn't He know what I need? It's not like I had never witnessed His amazing ways in my life before.
The words of my favorite poem came to me, "I could give all you seek and pleased you would be. You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me. You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint. You'd not know the power that I give to the faint...."
But...what about those things that I desperately yearned for? -That not a day went by that I did not think of them? What about what she said? What about what she didn't do? I couldn't just suddenly forget it all and live in the joy of the Lord overnight.
No, but with His help, I could overcome my feelings and continually turn them over to Him. Keep every thought captive. Turn my attention from the drama of this life and look fully to Him for my every need. Enjoy my surroundings. The blessings He'd already given me. Cut the reins I kept wanting to hold onto. Give it up. LET GO and LET GOD.
We are told that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..."* Oh, how true. How incredibly true.
But it doesn't have to stay that way. God can make us into something beautiful and exquisite. If we would just let Him.