"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why wait?

"Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one's heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Whether full or empty... He wants our hearts.

Why do we wait sometimes to "clean up" before coming to Him? Why do I only tell Him certain things? Why do we wait until we can say, "I trust you, Lord"? or "Blessed be Your Name!"

Instead, we can talk to Him like the psalmists, the prophets and the patriarchs did, "Where are you Lord?!" "I don't see you." "Why have you left us?" These statements of unbelief, questions and even "wrong" theology hold one thing in common-- they are honest and from the heart. The Father wants our honesty. Does He want (and fully deserve) our trust, our praise, our thanksgiving, and our submission? Absolutely! But, sometimes the only road to the place of praise, is through the valley of death. We must be honest with our hearts and speak to our Father as a dearly loved child.

If I only tell my husband the good stuff, and speak to him of my undying love... our relationship would not be very real or have any depth. I also have to be willing to tell him when he has hurt me, when his words have offended or when I feel he is distant.

I still keenly remember when my brother, after being confused about my new relationship with Jesus for many years, began to use foul language in front of me. At that moment, I remember relief, thinking, "Oh good... he finally can be himself around me!" That is who he is right now. It is genuine and honest. I don't want something fake from him.

Why would I think God would want any different?

My daughter will tell me most anything. I don't think, up to this point, there has been any "bad thought", any sad feeling or angry word that she hasn't told me about. By the grace of God, she sits comfortable in our relationship and can tell me anything--- the good, the bad and the ugly.
Last night she shared with me about her need to forgive a friend. She was frustrated by this girl and wanted help praying through forgiveness. After she shared her thoughts about this girl, she asked, "Is that bad, mommy?" My heart smiled at this question. She is checking to make sure I am okay, she is okay (if God is okay) with her frustrations and annoyance.

I want my kids to worship and trust God. I know that in order to get to that place of genuine trust, genuine relationship, they need to be able to be honest with Him. And if honesty includes an angry heart, a frightened heart, or an empty heart... then that is what they need to tell Him.

Whether full or empty... He wants all our hearts.

Father, let me begin today by telling you all that is in my heart... the very mundane, the silly, the anxious, the burdens, the questions, and the thanksgiving. Lord, I give myself utterly and completely to you without holding anything back.
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