Thursday, May 28, 2015

Heart Search


One child was in one room, one in the other. Both were in trouble deep. I had sent them to their respective rooms in order to calm my mind and decide what questions needed to be asked to help each one search his own heart. I have learned that I am unable to see their hearts, completely. And neither are they. 

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

There is One who can see our hearts, and we must lead our children to Him. My children and yours are receiving a strong message in today’s culture to follow their own hearts. I don’t know about your house, but in my house that leads to arguing, selfishness, and loneliness. And certainly not happy children or families.

However, there is another way to follow one’s heart.

A heart submitted to God, brought before Him regularly for examination, becomes a heart that can be followed. And this leads to joy. 

But this discipline must be cultivated, modeled, practiced. It does not come naturally to us or to them.

As I sat on the floor with one child, I realized with an inward groan, this is work and this will take time. Mentally I dismissed the dinner that needed prepared, the delay this would cause in bedtime, the baths that might get missed, and the gardening shears and gloves I had left thrown on the ground in the rush to respond to their conflict.

Jobs will go undone and schedules are void now.

This job, this task, the one of teaching my children to search their own hearts, this. job. This is the important one right now.  

I leaned in, focused intently on the big blue eyes trying to avoid my gaze as my son squirmed. This is your most important work, my soul shouted. Give it all you have. Take the time and train this amazing heart. Don’t be afraid. Watch it transform as I give you wisdom to lead.

I used to think I was a world changer. Well, I wouldn’t have admitted it, probably, but deep in my heart I knew that I had been set afire with the passion to give my all to serve others overseas, to make a difference. I set my goals and attained them, for a time.

But places and people far away will not bear my legacy like the children sitting here at my feet today. I was made their mother, and now the truth dawns on me that they will one day be the world changers.

My work is very clear, on a day like today. And I do not despise it, I do not long instead for the impact I might be able to make on the world if only I had time. I am giving my time to them right now, and that is enough. I am teaching them a skill that will lead them to joy, the skill of heart-search.

Maybe you feel like I have, afraid that if I teach them to bring their hearts to God I have to bring mine to Him too. And what if I fail? And they see it?

Well, the reality is I will fail. I have failed. And they have seen it. 

But a heart before God is not only a heart examined, but also a heart restored, cleansed, made new. Rather than seeing a perfect mother who is a bastion of godliness with all the answers, I want my children to see the work of a merciful God who takes the ugliness of my heart and transforms it into something beautiful.  

In the beauty of God’s design, I am somehow being trained right along with my children. And the growth in me is part of the growth in them, and we are being made into something beautiful together. 

The hearts of my children are entrusted to me right now. This fleeting, running swiftly time I call Now. A heart trained to search itself, and to go regularly to the Searcher of All Hearts, will be a heart that can be followed, and will lead others one day.

Will you take the time with me to learn the art of heart search? It will be time well spent.

Pause and ask God to examine their hearts.

Pray for the right questions to ask them, helping them see the root of their behavior.

Proceed with humility as you lead them to respond to what they learn about themselves. 

Practice these steps daily with your own heart.

If you have found creative ways to teach this to your children, or to cultivate it in yourself, be sure to leave your insight in the comments section below.

TWEETABLES

A heart submitted to God, brought to Him daily for examination, becomes a heart that can be followed. (Click to Tweet)

A heart before God is not only a heart examined, but also a heart restored, cleansed, made new. (Click to Tweet)




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