Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shaping My Heart

If you have been following me for a while now you know that I have had a bit of waiting to do. Back in March I had surgery on my thumb. That next month I found a lump in my neck. (Check out my blog post, "Fears Come in All Kinds of Shapes and Sizes Especially a Lump"). I have felt a bit like my heart has been in my throat. You know that feeling. You're wondering. You're scared. Your mind is already wandering in every direction even before you know the direction you're about to go.

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways." Psalm 139:1-3

The week after finding the lump I found myself at the doctor. Next month I found myself sitting in the surgeon's office. He ordered an ultrasound. More waiting. Waiting to see the results. Waiting to know the next steps we would be taking. My heart was in a stir.

"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You." Psalm 25:4-5

My husband sat yesterday in the doctor's office with me. My knees weren't shaking. My heart was calm. Everything about me felt safe and secure. Yes, some of that was felt because of my sweet husband, but my soul was feeling comfort and strength from our mighty Lord. Oh, there is nothing as sweet as His presence with us. He turns fear into calm. I can attest that you can have shaky knees and still know without a doubt God is in control. I have come to understand that I can still feel fear even in the midst of my great faith.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

A few days earlier I had been walking out in our front yard just enjoying the day. I am geek of trees and birds. (Lol That's a whole other post waiting). Here I was in awe of the Red Bud tree my husband had planted for me years before. It stands much taller than me now. Over the years I've watched the seed pods slowly open and the leaves float gently through the breeze, but as I stood there I seen something so different. I noticed the shape of the leaf. Yes, these shaky leaves, blowing and twisting through the wind on this blustery afternoon, were in the shape of a heart. Steady and strong. Hanging on and the winds twisted them. This was my heart! This ever changing heart of mine. Sometimes so gentle and calm. Others, hanging on for dear life as I feel twisted and blown shaky.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heat greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise His name." Psalm 28:7

These little leaves open in God's perfect timing. Everything is in His perfect timing. Some were just forming. Some were half open. But they were all waiting. Waiting just as I have been waiting. We want to hurry our waiting, don't we?

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14

I can tell you that my news was good. My lump is still there. Hasn't budged an inch. But the doctor isn't worried. He wants to watch it. It's very tiny. In three months we will do another ultrasound and follow-up. If all is good and unchanged then we will repeat that in another six months. But, if there is any kind of change at all he is going to get in there and remove it. Praise Jesus!

Friends, my news could have gone either way. I just as easily could have received news I didn't want to hear. But as my heart grows closer to Jesus I'm understanding more and more that faith comes in all different sizes and shapes. Sometimes our faith is big and sometimes it's small. But God remains the same. He is ever-present and true. He was already waiting at my appointment. He already knew the answers I would be hearing. He knew the questions that would fall from my lips. He knew my entire day.

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

I've had to remind myself that I am God's masterpiece. 

"For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

I can trust in Him. 

"For the word of the Lord is right and all His work is trustworthy." Psalm 33:4

He brings everything together in His perfect timing. 

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

I too am to live by faith.

"For in it God's righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous shall live by faith." Romans 1:17

When my knees are shaky and I feel the stem of fear rising up I am to remember that I am a child of the King of kings, Lord of lords! I am to remember where my strength comes from. 

"Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! 

I still wake to this lump. It could simply disappear. That is my prayer. But it too could grow. That isn't my wish, but just what if God has a plan? There's no what if about it. He does have a plan. Right now part of that plan is for me to share my journey. My strengths and my fears. My shaky knees and my wobbly faith. But one thing I know for certain. I never have to walk my journey alone. He's right here with me. Reminding me in so many ways of His glorious presence.

He too reminds me to continue to pray. I am to pray for His will. In doing so, He is growing in me a, 'no matter what', kind of faith. No matter what is to come, He is with me. I can trust Him in my today because He's already in my tomorrow.

"Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

"God can and will deliver whatever He has promised to us. Do we believe that? If we do, then it only makes sense to put our complete trust in Him, regardless of how dark our circumstances might appear." 
Charles F. Stanley


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