Thursday, July 1, 2010

He Wants Our Hearts

I am into the second week of studying Ruth by Kelly Minter.  This morning I read Ruth 1:19-21 (this is as Naomi is returning to her home country after being gone for 10 years.  In the time she was gone her husband and two sons died):

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"
 "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."

From the study

My greatest unease: me, unable to reconcile my suffering and the suffering of others with a very good God whose love endures forever.  And in today's text we see Naomi erupt with the same agonizing despair that charges God with not just oversight of her pain but also with responsibility for it, "The Almighty has done this to me!"...

many Christian women are not nearly this honest with God or themselves.  We feel forsaken by God or deep down we are angry or bitter with Him, but we never let ourselves stop long enough to address our feelings with Him.

Perhaps we're afraid of what we'll experience when we get there.  Maybe we're fearful that we won't hear anything from God, that He'll require something of us we don't want to give, or that we'll learn something about ourselves we don't want to know.  Perhaps its too much work. 

Regardless of your fears, I invite you to sit before the Lord in the true state of your heart (anger, fear, grief, questions, doubt, numbness, unbelief...)  God doesn't want our right answers, he wants our hearts...

Then earlier this afternoon as I was working on the computer this song came on.

You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
Who are afraid of being left by those we love
And who get hardened by the hurt
 Do you remember when You lived down here
where we all scrape To find the faith to ask for daily bread
Did You forget about us after You had flown away
Well I memorized every word You said

Still I'm so scared, I'm holding my breath
While You're up there just playing hard to get

You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
We have a love that's not as patient as Yours was
Still we do love now and then

Did You ever know loneliness, did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on And Your friends fall asleep
And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat

Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You're up there just playing hard to get?

And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained

And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this, somehow
All I really need to know

Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can't see what's ahead
And we can not get free of what we've left behind
I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret

I can't see how You're leading me unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led
And so You've been here all along I guess
It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

I can't help but think someone needs this today.  God wants your heart, honest and raw.  You can come to Him without any of the answers.

1 comment:

{Thirty} Little Piggies said...

Hello! I was completely moved by this particular day in the Ruth study as well. Okay, I'm moved and touched by it EVERYDAY but this one was especially good for my soul. I love that you are doing this study too! It feels good to "know" other gals who are out there and are getting a word at the same time I am.

I am so sorry that my blog completely disappeared for quite some time. I had some strange people popping up for a while and I felt it best to keep it open to only my "real life" people for a while. That time has passed and I am back now. :) Thank you for caring, for praying for our family. As you can see, Emily did indeed arrive and is an absolute gem. We are in a very happy season and feel God's constant grace and direction. Such a good place to be.

I am so happy to also see that you are all doing well! Perhaps we can catch up now via the blog world! :)