For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.” (Psalm 122:8)
As I was talking on the phone yesterday with a friend she was anxious to hear what my big reveal was going to be that I had talked about on Facebook earlier this week. I don’t want to share too much through this post since I’m not quite ready to share the big news, but as we were talking things in my heart started coming out.
For those who know me well it has been no secret that I have walked a difficult journey the past year of my life, I said to her, “these past few months I feel like God has just ripped me open, but it’s for a good purpose. I’m a completely different person. I’m more compassionate. I care more about people. Although this has all been so hard, I feel as though I’ve changed for the better. I have been more transparent than ever, but I have found that God is using my transparency to help others”
You see, there’s something God is jealous for and it’s our hearts. When a crisis comes into our lives it’s not for the purpose of shaming us or making us feel like a failure, it is for the purpose of making us new. David prayed that the Israelites might experience peace within them. Why do so many of us live in a constant state of chaos? Could it be that we do not know peace because we have not surrendered our presently bleeding hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ? Maybe the purpose of life isn’t to have it all together, but instead, to admit that we don’t so that we can find grace for ourselves and for one another.
A problem arises in the church when another persons’ brokenness becomes a problem and not an opportunity. We are so busy going from one thing to the next that we are not present for others. We barely have enough time to keep our hearts hanging by a thread within our own lives. How can we ever love someone else well if we live only in the chaos of anxiety and worry? When God rips us open it’s to clean us out. It’s to place new things like life and peace into our hearts. For us to truly heal, we have to stay long enough in the Father’s embrace. We have to let Him pour new things into our lives. When we do this, we make ourselves available to others. As we rest, we grow, and as we grow, we invite others into the process of being made new.
I am learning, sometimes slowly, that the greatest ministry I’ll ever do for God is the one I allow Him to do in me first. The ripping open of my heart has only been to instill His peace and joy in me. It has completely shifted my thinking on things like; church, discipleship, brokenness, transparency and caring for others.
The ripping open of my heart has been a place where God has challenged me to invite others in. To take off the mask and live a transparent life. One where others feel comfortable to share in their own struggles as they relate with mine.
God wants to do something beautiful in His church, but the longer she hides behind bars of superficiality the longer she’ll stay in bondage. Bondage breaks when we side with God in the process of our own hearts transformation. When I agree with God that I am in desperate need of His daily grace, He can use a broken vessel like me to be of good cheer to the world for Christ. It’s His peace in me and you that will draw men and women to Himself. Therefore, let your light shine before men, speak of the name of Jesus and be a world changer through the love of Jesus Christ. Let God use your life to be of good cheer. Find joy in the present moment, even when your heart feels like giving up. Let it rest in the hands of a good, loving Father who longs to make you brand new.
Lord, you are making me new. Thank you for your loving kindness. Thank you that you meet me in my time of need. Thank you that my heart is truly being found in you, in Jesus name, Amen.