This Week's Focus

Investigate my life, O God
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 2: at microscopic level

We started on verse 2 but the 1st has continued to echo and work in me:

O, Lord, you have examined my heart ... Psalm 139:1
Examine. Examine. Like a doctor...

So... the Great Physician has examined me. The compelling question is: what did he find at that microscopic level of the "vital center of my being?" Jealousy. (I'm sure there is more but that is what the diagnosis is for now.)

I imagined what would be on the slide if he took a specimen of my heart and slowly made a list of all the jealousy I was feeling now.

King Saul loved David the shepherd and harpist in the beginning. But at some point that changed. When the people expressed their love and admiration of the warrior David, seeds of jealousy sprinkled in Saul's heart.

When were these seeds planted in mine?

To dive deep with God down into the microscopic levels of our hearts takes extraordinary courage. I took a big breath and braced myself as I dug in with Him and his holy microscope... he took me back in time and showed me pictures of those seeds. Virus or infection are more apropos analogies:

In a thin-walled room of a late 60s trailer home, an almost 2-year old stood crying as her mother practiced the violin. The tears of the toddler were not because the music hurt her ears; they were because she was jealous that her mommy was paying attention to the instrument and not her. She hated the pretty brown thing her mother spent time with.

On a white vinyl couch, a 4-year old girl pouted on the lap of her father as they posed for a family picture, demanding unsuccessfully that she be held by Mommy. She'd been replaced by that chubby, bubbly baby brother.

Blue and green shag carpet made a soft play place for Barbies, but hardness grew in the 7-year old's heart as the girl had to share her time with her best friend. The extra girl always honed in and ruined everything. Then jealousy overcome her when a new baby sister was born; not jealousy because she wanted a sister, but because she felt she already had one in her friend. She never accepted the sister.

I hadn't consciously thought of any of those things for many years; but I can still feel all those emotions as fresh as the air I breath right now. Unchecked, the feelings, like a virus, multiply. Disease can lie dormant for years; but it eventually emerges. How much devastation will it wreak before the doctor discovers it? "When emotions are unchecked by the Holy Spirit, one negative emotion can easily feed another, joining together as links in a chain of bondage."

A healing thought occurs to me. Holy Spirit intervention? Just as I can love someone who is sick, I can love myself with a sickness of heart. The sickness doesn't overtake all the good that the patient is; we still invest in treatment! My value does not change because I am flawed. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

I recall the room with my mom and the violin, only this time imagine God in the picture. Why doesn't He reassure me? Why doesn't He fix it for me, why did He wait so long to put His truth in my heart?

Is it perhaps because I didn't want to hear it until now? Have I demanded my way for so long in this area that I didn't finally really turn to Him and surrender this area until this moment? You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

I release the thing I've been hanging on to all these years. God, o, God. I have rejected you over and over. I have been like a vacuum in my need for affirmation and fulfillment from human beings. The hole in my soul that only You can assuage I have demanded be filled by someone tangible that I could see and hear and hug. I have tried to win the love of man by being good, kind, giving, creative, spectacular. But it has never been enough. And I can not be enough.

In the quiet, deep place in my heart I realize that every moment boils down to that. Will I seek Him and be satisfied in Him, or will I turn my back, dissatisfied, and look elsewhere?