Visine for the Heart

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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

Don’t get me wrong. I want 2013 to be a good year for all of us too. But I feel a bit bummed tonight.

As I checked facebook, emails, the news, and interacted with friends and family at church, work, and home throughout the day, I found myself feeling “odd”, so to speak – for pretty much the entire day of the 31st. Everyone was sending out “Happy New Year” wishes, and conveying joy and happiness all around me…about a new calendar year….about the hope that the chance for a new year holds for them….and to me, well, I just felt.. NOTHING.

If you know me at all, that’s a very strange thing. I tend to feel things quite deeply most of the time. But I felt absolutely empty in relation to celebrating another “New Year.” And for a few hours, that made me feel pretty sad about myself and what that says about me as a person.

With Permissions Microsoft Office

With Permissions Microsoft Office

I have just arrived back home after work tonight, and as I was driving here, I used that time to search my heart and pray about it. Clearly, God has something that He wishes for me to learn about through this, right? As always, He does. I thank Him for that.

I found myself thinking….”what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be like others and be positive and cheerful…happy-go-lucky…excited about starting a new year?” Where is my “celebrate good times” attitude? If others could read my thoughts right now, they would think I am the darkest party pooper the world has ever known. Maybe I am.

So I searched and prayed. Here is what I have concluded:

I want to see God NOW. This is not because I am depressed. It is not because life stinks. It isn’t due to wanting to escape my responsibilities, or the joys that life with our family and friends can hold for us here on earth. But I have grasped….I have SEEN….that this world can never compare to what we will have if Jesus returns for us to rapture us out of here today. And I want to see Him NOW.

But, the time that Christ will come back to snatch us to His bosom so we can leave this world and enter into the most blissful existence imaginable, well, that is not for me to decide. CLEARLY, this is a very good thing too, because I am not a patient person! Beyond that, I obviously don’t have a deep enough love for all those who are still lost to Jesus at this point in time. If it were up to me, the rapture would have happened yesterday! 🙂 But seriously, that is very sad. I need to fervently beseech the Lord to fill me with HIS supernatural love for others, because this has shown me just how deficient I still am in this area. (Love is a VERY important thing to God, by the way – I find it almost comical that I continue to have to remember that very important fact).

Josiah Kopp via Creationswap

Josiah Kopp via Creationswap

I told my husband several months ago that I knew the challenge for me in this gift of anticipation…of actually looking forward to the end times…being excited and hopeful about Jesus’ return, would be learning how to do that while simultaneously living life here to the fullest. You see, I am pretty much an all or nothing type-person (Big surprise, I know – ha ha – it’s okay to laugh). And I knew this would be a huge obstacle for me to overcome. How do I keep that spirit of anticipating Christ’s return while still living life to the fullest, for the glory of God, here on earth? After all, not only is this life a gift, but God has chosen in His sovereignty and wisdom NOT to come back for us yet….and that means there is more to do while we are still here. That’s exciting, isn’t it? But not as exciting as the prospect of the rapture…at least, not to me.

And I realize it comes down to my heart. Again.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

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I need to pray for patience. I need to pray for God to not only help me to stay bold for Him, but to give me a selfless and pure heart. I need to be excited about His return one day, but focus just as intently on being happy that we have at least one more day to do all we can to proclaim His glory throughout this earth! There are multitudes of people out there who have not accepted Christ as their Savior yet….and there will still be many when He comes back to rapture the church before the tribulation begins. And so often these days, I find myself thinking selfishly….I think to myself….”now that I am actually looking forward to you coming back, Lord, why don’t you just get on with it already? I am ready!”

And once again, I realize….that’s pretty selfish of me. When will I ever learn? Ug!

So on that drive home, it hit me pretty hard that I may not get to literally “see” God this year….or I might get to – but only He knows, and He knows what is best. He knows it’s not all about ME. He knows He has to remind me of this fact all-too-often too. And He still loves me anyway.

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And as this wonderful verse in His Word tells us, our hearts need to be continually purified to see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

I have a lot of heart work to do…I always have. If I am fully honest with myself, it isn’t hard to see that. It isn’t difficult to see that if my motives were always truly pure, I would be more excited about getting to be a vessel for Christ right here, right now, in this world. I would trust Him to keep me confident through that process that I will not go back to getting overly attached to this world. I would believe with all my “heart” that God is strong enough…that He is faithful enough….to keep even ME from going back to living for this world instead of for Him.

Courtesy of uponthisrock.com

Courtesy of uponthisrock.com

It IS possible to not live for this world, yet live to the fullest while we reside within it – I truly believe that. And by living to the fullest, I mean fulfilling the mission that the Lord has set before us to proclaim His name to the ends of the earth (at least as far as we are individually and collectively capable of doing).

I have been blessed to get to do that in many different ways in 2012, and 2013 just looks even more promising. I know these opportunities will continue to grow as the Lord has His mighty hand on it all. And it’s not for me….it’s for Him. It’s because He wants for everyone to have every last opportunity possible to choose Him, to choose eternal life with Him…before He comes back….because He loves us all…so very much. One day He will decide to come back, and there will be many who are still not saved. But for right now, He has not decided it’s time for that yet. Having more time to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the earth needs to be seen as a blessing more than a chore.

Photo Credit uponthisrock.com

Photo Credit uponthisrock.com

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

I pray tonight that the Lord will purify my heart. I know that thankfully, when it comes to my salvation, I am seen that way by Him already…because the blood of Jesus covers all of my sin and impurity when it comes to where I will reside for eternity. Yet while I am here, still walking this walk, and living this life, I must seek daily cleansing…for it is all-too-easy for dark shadows to prevail and block our vision.

I trust the Lord to lift the fog out of my heart on a daily basis. I will not stop asking Him to do so. And if tears must come at times as that murky cloud is lifted out, so be it. Tears can be useful. They wash away pollutants and clear out the toxins. And then we can see far more clearly.

I realize I don’t need to feel sad about who I am as a person, because it is the LORD who will fill me up and take ME out of the picture in the process of purification. That is good news, my friends….that is good news.

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So, I will chime in with everyone else and say to you all…”Happy New Year, my Friends!!!” May 2013 fill you with the love of Jesus and make your hearts overflow with a love for Him and for one another that screams “CELEBRATE” over and over again!!!!!!

I want to see God -I want to see Him NOW. And His Word….well, it tells me that I CAN.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

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**All images not attributed in this post used with permission from royalty free websites- no attribution or link required.

 

 

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