God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
~ Matthew 5:8
I feel lately like I have been far away. Have you ever felt like that? I also feel like this is my very private diary... except I am painfully aware how public it is. So quiet I have been!
He calls me tonight. He's asking me to pick up The Book and get back in it. He knows I am avoiding. I know I am avoiding. When you are public with your thoughts, when you write so that maybe one person might benefit, avoidance is safe. I haven't been in the word, I haven't given him my time. I gently hear, "Open The Book... Turn off the TV... and sit with me." With that the pen lifts from the page. My heart pounds. I am a little afraid. Let's just say... when your Father has been working on your heart, when you know what He is going to say... And you know this because He's been saying little things all week... you have reason to believe that He is going to shake up your life a little.
What do I need to read tonight? Where am I going... and with the flipping open of my book... I see it! Underlined... bookmarked... THERE... the pictures in my mind this week.
Her face, her eyes, boring into mine as if to engrain my DNA with what I need to hear at that moment without knowing it. She says... "You are doing the right thing, with your writing. It's needed..." And I wish I could remember everything else... but like a flash photo... her face and sincere tone. I remember to thank her but the impression she left was lasting. (I know you read this... again I say, thank you for your encouragement, at that moment it was exactly what I needed).
So when I open The Book... my Bible... the card flashes open...it says
It is for freedom
Christ has set us free
Specifically The Book says
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
The passage refers specifically to an old, long line of rules and regulations set before in the Old Testament; this applies here because Christ died to set us free from sin. One death on the cross for all time and eternity... for ALL people, to those who believe and follow him.
Romans says there is a cost for our Sins... and that cost was paid in full on the cross. When I said, I believe... I will take up my own cross and follow Him, I meant it. That doesn't mean that I will always do it. Becoming aware, I must stop, apologize, renew and turn from it.
This week I have been shaken up a bit... It started with listening to some things I didn't agree with. I made my voice heard but the masses say - You over think it... it's not that big of a deal.
The shaking continued into a conversation with my mom regarding a situation with family... I know I should forgive... and that is a whole other blog (it really is.. sitting in my drafts) but forgive - I can do that and I say I have... however, keep myself from making snide comments or speaking ill, that is another thing... In honesty, that isn't forgiveness - is it? Is forgiveness for them or for me?
Boarding a plane to come home, I took and aisle seat. This really nice looking older lady was sitting in the window seat. The plane was full... I sat down, settled in, buckled up and got out my book. She was so nice... so interested... kindly she asked me; "Dear, what are you reading"....
The Holy Spirit by Billy Graham
The conversation never resumed again.
Another woman boarded with her husband. She took the seat in the middle of me and the now silenced lady... and conversation started and remained steady for the rest of the flight. She didn't ask about my book... I didn't bring it up. We were talking about her boys... one graduating college this weekend. We talked about Southern Arizona and Northern California (where she is from)... we talked about event planning and nursing administration... we talked about politics, which is almost as poisonous to a conversation as talking about the Holy Spirit... She asked a question which could have swayed either way to her political affiliation, lets just say - we're in agreement.
She asks me a question... which I am completely going to take out of context right now, because something within me stirred at that moment...
She asked me... Do you think our party is dead. Do you think people have swerved so far from the moral center that we will continue down this slippery slope?
Brings me right back to sin... Please remember I am not considering "the party" right now... but rather going deeper.
I am also only going to talk about my sin... and be so bold as to put it out there.
I cannot forgive. There are three people I have been called upon to forgive. My heart is hardened towards them. I try, I really do... I have the hard conversations, I try and make amends... but I cannot change them. In fact, for the duration of my life they may never change. They do not lose sleep over me... I lose it over them. In anger, frustration and sleepless nights.
I cannot let go of my expectation... my expectation of others. Forget it if you fall short...of what I expect... but don't expect me to understand when you cannot forget it when I don't live up to your expectation of me.
I fall into lust for this things of this world too... the things money can buy. The music with the good beat which has no purpose but to divide a people... men from women... sons from mothers...classes and races... dividing people from God.
Those three... and many others which God has heard and already forgotten... because that's what he does... Those snares can grab the best of us... those snares grab me, there is no perfection here... There was only one so perfect to have been tested and tried as no man before or since who was worthy...
So for The Book to fall open here... like lightening to my heart... The verse to me reads:
Christ has made you free
DO NOT be tangled AGAIN with a yoke of bondage
I AM FREE FROM MY SIN...
Thank you for this shake up in my heart. Thank you for quietly working on me and when my heart was ready... for striking like lightning. I do not have to be perfect in this life, I know. I do need to be in your word, seeking after the things you want for me. I do need to realize the sins I must turn from cannot be turn from by my own human nature but divinely, by the Spirit working in me; speaking gently to me, nudging me to open the Bible and come back in. Thank you for loving this imperfect person. Thank you for forgiving my sins and knowing my heart seeks after yours. Tomorrow when I wake up... instead of the coffee brewing in the pot, before my feet hit the floor, I will look to you first and ask that you fill this girl with what she needs in order to focus her eyes in one place alone.