I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but it most certainly happens to me a lot ~ just when I think I’ve exposed most of the hidden, dark places in my heart, and have decided to really work on those with my Jesus, more and more just keep popping up. It never ceases to amaze and surprise me. It shouldn’t, but it does.
If you ever find yourself getting too confident about the state of your heart ~ if you ever feel you might be missing a little spot that is tainted with some poison and threatening to spread ~ simply follow these instructions and you will see the light (or…uhem…the dark, I mean).
Here Ya Go ~ courtesy of one grumpy girl who needs her Jesus!
- Go to work for a few extra hours after getting no sleep the night before.
- Then get yelled at by a customer who is angry at her husband, but taking it out on the world (YOU, dear friend, are her “world” for the next hour).
- Pick yourself up, continue in prayer, thank God for your job, and head off (gratefully) to meet the rest of the day. (keep smiling)
- Get in the car and face the fact: You must go to Wal-Mart on the way home. Know this- I say, KNOW with all that you are that it will probably REALLY STINK to go to Wal-Mart at noon on Saturday. But know too, that you can do this. God’s got you. (You’ve prayed, right?)
- Go to said Wal-Mart. At Noon. On Saturday. Just DO it! (Step first, and then the waters shall part)
- Spend 10 minutes doing some deep breathing as you wait, wait, waaaiiiiiit to turn left to get into the parking lot. Eeets ok man…no rush here at all….just smile and love your brothers and sisters (Use this time to pray)
- Get into the Wal-Mart and do your very best to be as nice as you can to the lady behind the pharmacy counter. She’s had a bad day. Smile. Tell her you really “hope people are nice to her today and that you appreciate her being here to help on a Saturday.” Be okay with the fact that you walk away feeling you just made her day even worse somehow. Let the confusion dissipate. Shrug it off. Have clarity in Jesus, friend. (You’re okay, I’m okay, we’re ALL okay)
- Go do the rest of your stuff as fast as you can because you know you are teetering on a very dangerous precipice. Flesh is starting to try to take over. Keep smiling. Keep praying.(This is where the people are, friend. Love them)
- Get practically driven over by four very grumpy and not-shy-at-all people WITH carts, even though you move as far over…defer as much as possible to them so that they can park their cart right in front of you and step in front of where you were standing. (are carts used as a weapon now ~ who knew?)
- LET them nudge you. They may not smell good, but God loves them too. So should you.
- Try to smile and talk to these people. Even though they refuse to make eye contact, they are still breathing, right? Right? (Do not be afraid of zombies – they aren’t real)
- Feel your heart beating faster? Pause. Go to the aisle with the plumbing fixtures and spend a few moments seeking Jesus and His face. Breath deeply again while you ask Jesus to help you love people. Start to cry a little, and ask Him to change your heart.
- Get the few remaining items you need and do it quickly. You feel the panick attack ensuing and need to use wisdom and discernment right now. (You are here to get meat to make nice food for your family. You love your family. You are here to get stuff for your family. You love your family.)
- Keep breathing. The walls really aren’t closing in on you. (This is not about YOU)
- Have conversations with yourself and with Jesus about the state of your heart and your mind. Remind yourself: You should be grateful that you HAVE a place to go for these items and that you have a job and the money to buy food.
- Tell the devil to take himself straight back to YOU KNOW WHERE. He is trying to condemn you for your lack of love. This is conviction time, not condemnation time.
- Get in the car. Talk to Jesus. Thank Him for taking over and helping you make the right choices in the face of how you felt. (It wouldn’t hurt to lock the door in case of the zombies)
- You made it. You left without being mean. You left without striking back even though you were treated very rudely many, many times within a 20 minute time span. This ~ THIS will not break you. (The “job well done” talk with yourself doesn’t seem to be working, though)
- Go home and feel and feel and act grumpy most of the afternoon. Realize your family can see it – feel it. It affected you. You know it, so you try to stop. It’s not working. (Pray for a clean heart)
- You see it now: You were fooling yourself. You DIDN’T “make it”, friend. You didn’t love others fully. you barely got by, is what really happened. It coulda been worse, yes. But it coulda been a lot, LOT better! (Yes, you have been deceived and YES, your heart is still…”not well”)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Even though YOU realize your heart is sick, others will try to take it – Your heart. They will try to twist it into something that suits them. They will play with it and stomp on it and then toss it in the aisle that no one wishes to visit. This is why you feel you are being chased by zombies. But those zombies are just children whose hearts and love has grown cold. Very, very cold. And God loves them too.
He loves them too. And your heart is meant to be captured by HIM. When you feel that others are trying to take it, have no fear, friend.
He’s holding it in HIS hands. Just keep giving it back to HIM every single day.
The results of my heart check up may not have been pretty, but they were helpful and revealing.
Here are my instructions to myself now:
- Realize without question that your heart is dark. You need Jesus.
- Be thankful for the reminder that you NEED to abide in Him, His strength, His glory, His presence.
- Understand without question: You NEED to ask for Him to create a new heart entirely for you.
- Have Faith: In the One who knows – the One who cares – the One who CAN and WILL transform this heart from ugly to stunning and pure!
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
And it only took one little trip to Wal-Mart at noon on Saturday to remind you: Our God saves.