a bitter pill, no good thing, and hands
You know how you think your insightful? You figure that you have a pretty decent grasp of reality, as if your snapshot of the vista you survey is quite impressive? Until a situation narrows it to a peephole? Please say yes. This seems to keep happening to me this year. A lot.
I’ve had joint pain for over 6 months that I finally am seeking relief from. As part of the journey, they need to take a look inside. My hands. This was the first time I’ve ever seen my bones, and I was into it! My mother’s wedding ring does not come off, so there it is, in vivid detail on my left hand. The pain I have is in my right thumb knuckle, and I know (yawn) this is all very scintillating, but this is my point; I could tell a doctor all about my pain, when it started, and how hard it is to brush my teeth (but I figured out the best way) with joint pain, but that doctor just can’t know the full picture – without the really getting the full picture! And neither can I. Not physically or spiritually. Thank God for God.
The other day, after two days of soul-deep sadness over hurt feelings had my heart hog tied, I was driving to a meeting and talking to God in the car. I was kind of a mess, truly, and it was important to shift gears, no pun intended. On my way to this meeting with one of the sweetest women on earth in order to help her plan a very exciting ministry opportunity, I deeply wanted to have my full focus available to me. But a funny thing happened when I asked for a clean heart and an open mind for whatever He wanted to show us that morning.
How does God talk to us? I love finding out what His means have been to make His point with people because this loving Father of ours is infinitely creative and gloriously responsive. I believe He has given us the parameters of His Word the Bible and our understanding of it, enlightened by His Spirit, so that we can differentiate between our crazy self-soaked imagination and his perfect wise direction. What I have found is that with me, sometimes God guides with a knowing, sometimes with a word, and sometimes I’m suddenly crying for no reason whatsoever, and I know He has brushed by me. Just like he did with Moses, when He answered his prayer but found a way not to incinerate him with glory in the process. (This is a great story.) But I can honesty tell you that I have also felt God laugh at me like a sitcom in-studio audience when the joke’s on me, and His punchline comes off as serendipitously ironic. Mostly when I’m a fool, and in my Spirit God is telling me wordlessly: “RELAX, beloved. You and all that worry are just adorable. LOL. Do you still not know that I’ve got this?”
So, I was in the car begging for a carwash-style cleaning of my heart (drive through, instant and cheap) so that I could be ready for a meeting. Because I truly don’t deserve this kind woman’s time if I plan to continue into the start of this day petulant and pouting over day-old grief, and God decided to get visual. A thought came to me of a hand reaching from elsewhere and coming toward me, palm open, offering what was inside. I didn’t know what it could be, but I realized then that nothing comes to me except from His hand.
Not one hurt or reward or human judgement passes to me except that it passes through Him first. Sounds like familiar truth, I thought. Sounds like scripture. God’s voice, when presented to us, always will.
Jesus said this once,
9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:9-11
Is there anything I would not take from that hand? No. I trust God and if He hands me something, I’m taking it. I love that He was showing me this because I was sucking on some bitter pill. Chewing it like cud until it was tasteless but potent because it kept me stuck. And stuck is STUCK until something divine pries me aways from its hold.
Nothing comes to me except from His hand. And I will take anything from that hand, even pain. Suddenly that knowing changed everything in an instant. My heart rested, my pulse slowed, the burden left, and my meeting went swimmingly. In fact, my day was rescued entirely.
I picture my heart like a huge glass jar that is full of everything I am loving, and not all of it is good. The Bible says that God desires a pure heart above all because it is from our hearts that all of our thoughts and actions are issued.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. – Luke 6:45
Clean your heart, and you’ll find yourself wanting what God wants. In fact, in preparation for action, the writer of Hebrews tells us:
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. – Hebrews 10:22
Rain is no measure of His faithfulness, He withholds no good thing from us. No good thing from us, no good thing from us. No good thing from us, not good thing from us. – Sara Groves