So often, mankind departs from simplicity immersing himself in the cares and pursuits of his own doings. He becomes scattered among the throes inside his heart and delves into the paroxysm of his mourning. Oh what sullen temperaments we bring upon our own beings! I for one have held that title of guilt and the hauntings that were attached to its veracities that never faded. But God in His simplistic yet mysterious and sovereign ways came inside the darkest of dark and took hold of that which had settled and made its home inside my heart and sentenced those very antagonizing holds to death and tossed the remnants into that sea of forgetfulness far beyond my realm, as far as the east is from the west.
This morning I sang a song, one that we all are familiar with, one that rises from within us every Christmas season, and I do realize it’s not Christmas, but a song that inspires my writing today. “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room.” “LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM! I stopped here and pondered on those words, “let every heart prepare him room”. How do we prepare a heart? How do we make room for Him? God! First of all, we need to make room by clearing out all the stuff whatever that stuff might be, clutter, lots of clutter perhaps and as for me, my clutter was stashed in every corner and empty space, its no wonder my mind was consumed to the point I couldn’t form a complete sentence in my thoughts, nevertheless the clutter had to go and it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen on my own doings.
I began to wonder if my heart was a stanza of allegory or fable, whatever the mode of accounting was, it was not stable in any sense of the word. A coupe of weeks ago, I broke! I gave in to the battle of my mind. I found myself grieving deeply of my past sins. Sins I had already been forgiven of but had not forgiven myself. I wept bitterly until my eyes became swollen and burned from intensity of my groanings. I felt far from peace. Far from anyone who meant anything to me, far as in deep exile. A sorrowful constraint that words do not describe. I told God that I accept my lot in life and I didn’t expect blessings from Him nor did I feel worthy. But little did I know that God was already preparing my heart for this season in my life. And indeed, what a blessing it truly is!
In 2016, on a cold Wednesday night, I sat on the back pew during a bible study in church in Aiken, S.C. Each person was given a little sheet of paper with nothing on it but a scripture from the Bible. Mine was from Isaiah 57:15. I tucked the little piece of paper in my Bible and after service ended, I went home and read my passage. I really didn’t think much of it, nor did I consider it relevant and left the little nugget inside perhaps for another space and time. As the years have passed, I have often seen the paper while flipping through those sacred pages of the word of God and would read the passage but no magical phenomenon occurred, no light bulb moment intervened, until last night.
Since that night in 2016 my heart was being prepared through pruning. As a Christian, it’s necessary for God to prune our hearts since we are chosen to bear lasting fruit. And more times than not during this pruning process, God seemed millions of miles away. He seemed distant to the point that I felt He had separated himself from me. But as truth will have it, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He might step aside to allow his Spirit to do deep works in our hearts but he will NEVER abandon you. This depth is a journey not an overnight miracle, and in my heart there was a lot of pruning to be done. God also prepares the heart through repentance like the heart of king David. God wants first place in our hearts and if He isn’t first place then He is a jealous God. If He is not first place, then we should do a census on the idols and destroy their very nature to make room for our Creator. What is your heart representing spiritually? Its a good question one we all should ask ourselves.
Last night, while tip-toeing, so-to-speak, through scriptures, that little bible verse handwritten on that little piece of paper fell out. If you know me, you know I do not believe in coincidences. I picked it up and sat it on the table beside me. I read a couple of chapters, random chapters nothing that seemed to be a characteristic of any particular aspect of any certain emotion I was feeling. Just a mere moment of reading just to be reading. But I quickly learned I had an assignment to be where I was exactly when I was there. I picked up that little piece of paper to put back inside my Bible. I stared at it for a moment wondering why I had kept it for so long. I knew the Bible verse, but something deep inside me told me to go back and read it again.
Isaiah 57:15 NIV “For this is what the high and lofty One says- He who lives forever, whose name is Holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” I knew this was a divine appointment. So I began to study those two words, “lowly” and “contrite.” My eyes welled up in tears as I took sincere notice of what contrite really is. In Bible terms, a contrite heart is a heart that is filled with a sense of guilt and a deep longing for atonement, penitent, a show of deep remorse. Someone like me who had been broken from her past, full of regret full of deep sorrow, and from deep moral earnestness, someone who even had nerve to ask God to allow her to go back and start all over. That’s how deep I had plunged and how contrite my heart really had become.
After reading this verse I broke yet again. This time, it was tears of joy, thankfulness, gratitude to God who was opening my eyes to a fact that He indeed had forgiven me but I had to forgive myself and the only way I could do that was to know that God truly understood my heart and know He was and has been with me through all this lingering sorrow. He knew this day would come hence preparing my heart for such a time as this since 2016 in a church on a cold Wednesday night, holding that little piece of paper that has more meaning to me now and will always reside in the address of the book of Isaiah. This may seem minute to someone else maybe perhaps even you, but to me it has been a major feat in my walk with Christ. One I could not wait to testify of.
I felt every regret, every remorse, every guilt being lifted from my soul just knowing that the God who lives in a high and holy place also lives inside my heart, my contrite and lowly heart where his love broke through and gathered all of those emotional infirmities and healed that brokenness and restored comfort to me where now my words are words of praise to Him.
If you are experiencing the same realm of emotions and are not sure of where your heart is when it comes down to the matters therein, God wants to meet you in your place of need where He will prepare your heart for the healing that you so desire. It’s a process, but soon your joy will come in the morning and you will find yourself immersed in the love and compassion God has for each and every one of us if we only share our sorrows with him. Sometimes, you can only communicate with tears and that’s okay because to God, our tears are a language and they are so important to Him that He puts them in bottles. He knows the story behind your tears and He is there to comfort us, heal us and give you joy that you will not be able to explain. Man cannot do this for you, no licensed therapist can come close, only the One who designed and created you can bring you this completeness.