I've been preparing my talk for a Ladies Tea this weekend. As I read through my notes, the words struck my heart. They were such sweet encouragement to my own ears. Do you have do that? Do words you wrote in a blog, wrote in a journal, come back to encourage you on a different day?
Psalm 1:3 has been the sweet verse of my heart this year. I'll be sharing some of those thoughts with my friends on Saturday. In my notes, I wrote about God's steadfast love for each of us. How a life firmly planted in Him doesn't fade with time, but only grows stronger.
Growing can be such a painful thing. A friend pointed this out to me in Bible study last night. As we grow closer to God, we see the painful reality of how we don't measure up. Sins that God may have not pointed out when we were a new Christian, now come to light. But it's so important that we have a teachable spirit. While it is painful to ask, to draw closer to God, we have to go through the painful process of pruning, getting rid of what shouldn't be. It's hard to be honest with ourselves sometimes. It's hard to admit that we have an area that needs work. (Even more so for a perfectionist like me!). But, in growing closer to God, we have to do the hard work. The Holy Spirit's influence on our lives prods and pushes us to bring those things out in the open, to admit that we have faults, have things that need to be worked on, and to truly get rid of those yucky things, so that we can draw closer to God.
The dead things have to be cleared away, so that lasting fruit can even begin to grow in it's place.
This verse may seem like a bit of a downer, but I love it. Draw near to God, and yes, He probably will point out some areas of your life that need work, some areas that need cleaned up, cleansed of the bad so that He can replace it with something good. Draw near, bringing your messiness, and He will draw near to you. It's a promise of His presence. It's an admittance that, yes, we all have yucky in our lives. We all have messy moments, things we do, or say that we quickly regret. But bring them before God. Ask Him to draw near to you and change those things, and replace them with something new. With lasting fruit that only He can provide. Draw close and He will show up.