I get it.
All of our hearts go wayward for a little.
You want the real thing. You want to be overwhelmed in His presence. You want to feel Him like fire in your bones, like wind in your chest.
You want to yearn for Him.
You want to be passionately in love with Him. You want to want to spend time with Him, every waking moment.
You want to know Him, deeply and personally and intimately.
But there’s just something.
You feel like you’re reaching out, but you can’t touch Him.
Your soul is crying out for Him, to no avail.
You feel more like a stone or a statue than a saint.
Gaze your heart upon the Gospel.
There’s something wrong with this world; there’s war and babies dying and mothers starving and girls being sold for sex and boys being forced in slavery and abusive men and diseases wiping people out and greedy bosses and racist cultures and mass genocide and rebel armies.
There’s something wrong; it’s utterly clear.
Listen. That problem stems from my heart- its greed and its lust, its envy, jealousy, rage. We are horrid sinners and in dire and desperate need of saving from the sin that has stained our hearts.
It’s tainted every one of us; I can feel my sinfulness saturating my heart. I know this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I know this isn’t how I was created to live.
I am separated from God.
And this sin that has ravaged my heart- it’s an atrocity of the most severe degree and because of that, there’s blood owed for my sin. For our sin. There must be punishment for the brutal, for the violent wrong-doings.
So, God paid it. God paid my debt. God Himself gave the blood owed for my sin.
God became a man- flesh and bones and His name is Jesus. He breathed oxygen and felt the rays of the sun hitting his face and walked through dirt streets and ate bread and fish. He was strikingly divine, strikingly human. He had friends and loved people well and made miracles happen. And then, he died on the cross, blood dripping from wounds in his hands and feet. He was dead. But three days later, He came back to life by the power of God. And God has made Him King over all the Kings, and He is now with God in Heaven.
He’s alive and redeeming every broken thing into beauty. Because the blood was paid, there’s grace, forgiveness, kindness, redemption.
He’s redeeming His people, our hearts, this world into what He created it to be: Beautiful. Glorious. Good. His Kingdom is Heaven, and one day when Jesus comes back to reign as King, our hearts will be restored and our joy will be complete. We will eat juicier fruits and play finer music and harvest rich crops. We will live in love and our souls will thrive and our hearts will be ecstatic.
Do you believe that? If you do, you are saved. You have the real thing. The veil is torn and you are wholly in His presence.
But as for the glory and ecstatic joy and overflowing souls, juicier fruits and satisfied hearts.
Sister, we aren’t there yet. I don’t really know how else to say it.
Don’t beat yourself up if your heart isn’t ecstatic, that it isn’t head over heels for our sweet Jesus. Yes, there are some, maybe many moments filled with feelings of His presence; there are some special moments that may be hours or days or seasons when we really are head over heels in love with God. Little glimpses of Heaven.
Still we are men and women of the journey home, and there’s moments of mountain peaks and downhill treks, there’s fire and there are clouds, there’s joy and mourning.
I would love to paint a beautiful and romantic love story and preach that our hearts are just overflowing with thankfulness and nearness in all of the little moments, that we are so fiercely and passionately devoted that our souls sing the moment we wake until the closing of our eyes.
But I can’t tell you that.
Our hearts all go waywards at times.
The Bible is real and raw about that. We aren’t in heaven. We want to live like Heaven. And sometimes, there are little pockets where we can just declare that we have indeed tasted His goodness. But there’s also times when I find tears streaming down my cheeks.
We just aren’t there yet.
Sister, don’t get your soul worried and heart wrestling around over your feelings. If you indeed have responded to the blood and risen life of Jesus, you have the real thing.
Let me paint this picture for you, sister:
They say that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure, a treasure found in a vast, abandoned expanse of land. I have found it; I found the treasure in an old field. I am bewildered that my fingertips grazed a treasure so precious. I run back, eyes wild, gather my most exquisite belongings, sell them in a rush and haste, and bang on the landlords wooden door.
I threw my money at him; I bought that field. I could hardly wait to grip the tattered deed to that old, vast expanse of land. When it was all said and done, heart beating and racing, I danced back to that field. I’ve sold it all just to have that treasure.
Treasure, oh treasure, so rich and brilliant is mine.
I can’t believe stumbled upon it, or maybe, quite simply, the brilliant sparkle caught my eye.
Yes, it’s worth every last penny in my pocket; every little bit of my life, every breath of my being.
Right now is the moment, when I’ve sold it all but don’t have the treasure in my palms yet.
Now is the moment, when I am dancing back to that field, pockets empty but a huge grin on my lips.
Now is the moment, when I’ve risked it all and yet joyfully celebrating.
It’s mine, but not yet. Every breath, hastened and giddy, I get a little closer. I’m on a journey back to my treasure.
It has captivated me. I can’t stop thinking about it, I dug it deep from the dirt, covered in scarlet, yet it seemed to almost rise by its own power. The brilliant, deep shine and dimensioned edges, the flakes of gold crescendoed on ruby and pearl, amethyst and jasper. It’s beautiful.
Sister, you have the real thing. You’ve found treasure in the cross and resurrection of Jesus. You’ve given it all away- your heart, your life, yourself. It’s yours, but not yet.
You’re dancing back to that field.
Sister, muster up the courage to declare, at the top of your lungs and in the most genuine whisper that the promises, that the treasures of God are your day to day, moment by moment reality even when your heart feels like a stone and a statue.
You’ve sold it all. The treasure is yours. Lock your eyes on that distant prize, oh devoted one, and keep dancing and running and crawling towards it.
Just a little longer.
Listen, the beautiful thing is that the Gospel goes deeper than feelings.
Love is not always overwhelming. Devotion is not always fiery. Passion doesn’t always make your heart race.
Sister, you are a devoted lover of Jesus.
Your love for Him is not a feeling; it’s a promise of faithfulness through the mountain tops and downhill treks. Your devotion is a fire burning through the night, steady flames burning bright; your passion makes your heart beat and beat and beat, never ending.
Dance, my sister, dance towards your treasure; He is the real thing.
He is Yours, and you are His.
Now and forever.
With much, much love. And worn feet that won’t stop dancing. -Melissa
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