Heal Our Hearts
And so, it has been said. But when your heart doesn't know where home is, then it has done too much wandering, making homes wherever one wanders. Wander woman.
Year 2015 is almost to run out. But here I am still not yet ready to welcome in the new year. This year has brought too much instability for my little heart that it doesn't even know whether it's home or not. Maybe it's still wandering when it's already home?
I have my stuff in luggages for a long time now... y'know, having to go back and forth between three countries. Somehow this new year seemed to find me still in such a state with my bags still packed even when I'm already home.
Oh, how so true for so many people. God has for many times in our lives made it clear that in Him is home. But still, we get restless. Even when we're with Him. A song has said it, we are 'prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love'... even though that God loves us dearly. We have many reasons for our restlessness, but it all boils down to sin that goes through our very veins. Paul himself has lamented over this condition, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:27)
Healing a Despondent Elijah
It does get tiresome to be in this physical and spiritual condition. But even in our despondency, God makes His presence known the way He did with a very discouraged Elijah.
Elijah was serving God zealously, but after all the adventures he had with God and with him seeing and experiencing God's greatness and goodness in his life, he still got so discouraged that he had his own pity party. After Elijah was threatened by queen Jezebel and fearing for his life, thinking he was all alone, he ran away. He wandered through the wilderness for a day and got so tired of his situation that he cried to God to take his very life. (Read 1 Kings 19:1-4.) This is a man who was at the very end of the rope that he couldn't find hope. And he was just too tired that he fell into a sleep. But while he was sleeping, an angel came with food (1 Kings 19:5-8). Food from heaven. And I wonder how it tastes.
Lamenting on my spiritual and physical condition in front of the sink while washing dishes after the kids had their breakfast, I asked God for an angel to minister to me. After all, God sent an angel to minister to Elijah and the angel told him, "Arise and eat."
Well, yesterday I didn't feel like going to church. I have always looked forward to being in church, being in the presence of God in fellowship with His family, serving in whatever way I can. But, man, that morning was just different. I actually envisioned myself all alone with my Bible, having a talk with God, and I sort of liked it. But for some reason, my husband wouldn't let me stay home, when at other times he would plead for us to skip church on a sabbath. He and the kids waited for me as I reluctantly and (intentionally) s-l-o-w-l-y got ready. My, how patiently they waited for me in the car for the whole time it took me to get ready. (Yeah, they should get a medal.)
And so in a very sick condition I went to God's house of worship, without any intention at all of doing anything but to rest. Rest means a literal sleep. However, I didn't know it was the time for a Communion Service. Willingly, but with a heart heavy with sin and life's troubles, I took part in it. I didn't realize that God was sending 'an angel' to minister to me. In the back of my mind, though, I got this thought that God has something for me. And yes, while in my 'sleepy' state, I was told to "rise and eat".
The pastor broke the unleavened bread and we prayed. I could hear Jesus say as the verse was read: "This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). He has said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:48). In a discouraged state, God was telling me to "Rise and eat"--- not to neglect physical and spiritual food, especially in such a state. Basically, I was told not to neglect Jesus.
He has said, "He who feeds on Me will live because of Me" (John 6:57). Food from heaven. No need to wonder. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8). For He is good!
Elijah presented his complaints before God. God did not get angry, nor disappointed. Instead, He assured Elijah that he was not alone in serving Him. There were others who stayed faithful despite the times and the challenges. God was encouraging Elijah.
In our struggles as we try to faithfully serve God, we feel like we are on our own against the world and a whole army of our enemy's forces. I did feel like Elijah did as I try to serve God in my tasks as mother, wife, missionary... and oh, how alone I felt. But, no. God has His people, reserved as they serve Him valiantly. And closer to home, I have met a few.
He is All We Need
Today was my son's first winter vacation at home. He played outside in the snow, but he complained that he was bored when he was inside the house. (We don't have a TV and he and his sisters don't have an all-access license on our computer.) I suggested reading and writing to him, but he told me that he read but got bored easily. In a wondering voice, I told him how I enjoyed reading and writing so much that I could do it for hours. He then asked, "Can I read and write with you then?" I told him I don't have time for these activities anymore as I have to do house chores. He promised to help me wash dishes, cook and clean house so I could have an hour to read and write.
Wow, an hour! And he was excited to tell that to me. Actually, all that my son wants is to be with me doing an enjoyable activity, or for that matter any activity, be it ironing or cooking, or playing hide-and-seek. And, home won't be boring for him anymore.
Isn't that what we all need to have our hearts healed? Be with Him, hear Him, see Him? We have wandered too long, been wounded too often that we have no idea we are already home. God said, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). Healed hearts.
God knows how to keep our restless hearts stay at home with Him. All we need is Jesus.
It's time to humbly come before God and ask for forgiveness, especially right before the new year comes. For the reason that when 2016 marches in, our hearts are settled right at home with God.
Dear God, you know the state of our hearts. You know our going in and our coming out. And we ask for forgiveness of the many times we lost sight of You and Your goodness, and go about hungry in our own wretched state. Please come fill us. Feed us. Be all that we need and want. Heal us. Restore us. Dwell with us. Make our hearts be right at home with you, today and in the coming years. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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