Monday, September 13, 2010

Making Room

In my bible study this week there was a story that spoke to me and I wanted to share with you.

I have a hard time with change. I moved five years ago from a medium-sized town in Iowa, and have just in the last year been able to use the words I love in the same sentence as Nashville. It wasn't that I didn't like the city or enjoy the four years prior to this last one, but it was that I was here in body and in Iowa in spirit.
My husband and I are moving to a new house soon and have been purging our closets and cupboards of things we don't need or want. I was standing on the kitchen counter the other day digging through the top shelf of glasses and mugs, when I looked down at the pile of giveaways at my feet and saw two plastic juice glasses from my grandmother and a faded plastic Northern Iowa mug. I've tried to give these things away before but I couldn't bring myself  to do it because it felt like I was giving up a part of my Iowa past, a part of me.
All of the little physical things I was holding on to, like the glasses, were little metaphors of the way my heart was grabbing anything that represented home for me. Not that there is anything wrong with holding onto memorabilia, heirlooms, or things from my past. It's just that all the while I was praying that God would give deep relationships here-would give me a home here-I felt like He was ignoring that prayer. I realize now that He was just waiting for me to make room in my heart for exactly that. I'm finding that when I dwell on a memory or a tradition in an unhealthy dose, it occupies every part of my brain that could otherwise be taking in my surroundings and what God may be trying to reveal to me. There is a place for sentimentality,  But I've been a junkie, and living in the moment is a much fuller way to live. (pg 110)

Of course, we may feel grief when parting with something we enjoy, but if true conviction is present, we will begin to look at the thing as something that was taking the place of God, something that was stealing from us. As we rid it from our lives we will be hopeful with anticipation, anxious to see what God will do in this newly-created space. We will not look for loopholes. We will be resolved. We will know that we are in a position to gain, not to be stolen from any longer. (pg 70 emphases added)

Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up it's toys.  I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus' name. Amen. (Prayer by Tozer, pg 118)

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