Yesterday, I sat watching our seven-year old cutting out hearts. He’s usually wild and crazy, jumping and running from one thing to the next, so whenever I can get him to actually sit and do something with his hands, it’s a win for me.
As he carefully used his scissors, he looked up at me with his serious little face. “Mom, if you cut it wrong, your heart will be all over the place. It will be a mess.”
I realized the truth of his profound words as I allowed them to sink into my soul.
Today I’m feeling as if my heart is a mess.
Instead of resting in the presence of Jesus, I find myself striving.
Striving to be a better mom.
Striving to be better at my job.
Striving to be a better friend.
Striving to be a better Sunday School teacher.
Striving to be a better wife.
Striving to be a better writer.
Striving, striving, striving. For all the things.
We are taught from the time we are very small that we should strive to do our best. But striving to do my best just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Maybe for you, striving isn’t the issue. Perhaps you’ve been hurt in some way, you’re disappointed or feeling despair. Maybe your heart, today, is a total mess.
I sometimes feel as though my heart has been cut out wrong as evidenced by frustrations and comparisons, inconveniences and impatience. Life doesn’t always look like we expect and disappointments often shape our dreams and relationships.
But this is what I know: God doesn’t want us to keep striving to be better. Instead he wants us to be still in His presence. To listen to His voice and follow His leading.
God has been teaching me so much in the quietness of my early mornings as I sleepily turn off my alarm at 4:30 a.m. to make time for Jesus.
I keep hearing His voice telling me to sit with Him. To sit in His presence. To sit in His love. To rest in Him.
I’m exhausted, y’all. But I so want to love Jesus more. I want to go when He tells me to go. I want to follow where He leads.
However, I can’t hear His voice when I am striving to do everything on my own.
This year I want to be different. I want to step out of my comfort zone as I allow the Holy Spirit to show me how to serve. Who to serve. Where to serve.
So what if we stopped striving?
What if, instead, we sat in the presence of Jesus, asking Him to show us what’s important?
What if we listened to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and then actually did what He told us to do?
What if, when we have no words, when we are so overcome with feelings of desperation or failure, we allow the Holy Spirit to pray for us?
Romans 8:26 (NIV) tells us that the Spirit “helps us in our weakness.” We may not know what to pray “but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
I love that picture.
I fail every day in some way. Even last night as I tucked my littles into bed, I found myself apologizing for losing my temper. One of these precious children placed his hand on my face and said, “Mom, I forgive you. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.”
Be still, my heart. My messy heart. My heart that sometimes feels chopped to pieces. Jesus is using these precious little moments to repair this part of me.
He can heal your messy heart too. Let Him. Seek Him. Pour out your messiness to Him.