Wanted: singleness of heart

I feel very small and grey right now. Jesse has a cold that, truly, has produced more snot than I have ever seen in my life. It’s been about two months now, and the only time he was not almost throwing up with the amount of mucas in his nose, eyes and chest was when we washed it all away in Florida. But that’s not the reason for my sadness.

It’s coming into Spring, not Fall, so I should be rejoicing with the signs of budding new life around me. But death is on my heart.

It’s Easter. That’s one death I am thinking on constantly.

It’s the one year anniversary of another friend’s suicide and the death of my sister-in-love’s brother.

A friend is also resting through her last days invaded by cancer. And knowing her, she will smile her way to the end – grace and joy have been characteristic of how she has handled this thing. It’s the very presence of the holy does that in a person.

But it makes me sad – that life all around us is marred in some way from how we’d like it to be. Despite the fact that there’s a legion of people who disdain the whole idea of a “Creator” and the possibility of perfection, everyone feels robbed by death as though deep within, we know it was never meant to be this way. And it wasn’t. It’s consequences of choices made long ago. Sin and death.

Rather than doubt it, I see the reality of the consequences of sin, little, but bad decisions, in myself.

In the spirit of Lent, preparing for Easter, I naively asked God to show me the things in my life that don’t please Him. I figured these would quite possibly be the same things I have kind of learned to live with – “sin”, yes, in as much as I know they are not things God would give me a gold sticker for, but they are not that bad relatively speaking. Little foibles, personality traits of a passionate person ….. default responses I would kind of would like to be better at….. but I have made peace with these things. It’s just “me”.

So I have felt slammed this last week when God answered that prayer. And showed me. How sin entangles. Small bursts of impatience affecting – in this ripple I never saw before – my husband, my friends, my kids, a visitor to our home.

How sin separates. Seeing these things for what they are, I literally felt separate from other people. Separate from my husband. Separate from others, hiding this sadness behind my poker face. And separate from God. I saw why Jesus cried out on the cross as he bore the punishment for the sins of all men – my sins –  “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The answer is “because sin separates men from God”.

And spoils. A little sin spoiled my whole day.

I found this promise in the book of Jeremiah this morning which helped. God says “I will give them singleness of heart and action so that they will always fear me for their own good … and the good of their children after them.” (32:39)

I get it! I need there to be no difference between what I know I should do, what I really do want to do, and … what my actions end up being. And forgive me for be-labouring the point, but that will only happen if I actually HATE these little sins and inadequacies in me … rather than having learned to live with them.

I kind of don’t know how to do it. So I am starting by being extra-patient with the kids … trying to consciously choose my reactions rather than acting how I feel. Even with my husband.

Not acting how I feel. Hmmm. Now there’s a revelation for me. Didn’t know people did that.

I realize this all sounds like pathetic navel-gazing. It’s not. Just the result of a very real daily enquiry of the Lord. Not quite the response I expected. However, it would be nice to be an A-grade student on this one. Would hate to have to re-sit the same examination.

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6 thoughts on “Wanted: singleness of heart

  1. He is doing a work of REDEMPTION in you!!!!! THAT is for Hid glory…not your shame….GOOD FOR YOU, KIM! Refining fire. You asked for it and He was so faithful. Bless His Name!

  2. Your post resonates with me…especially the bit about being more patient and consciously choosing my reactions – boy do I struggle with this! My 11 year old tests me so very much (the joys of aspergers) and I struggle so much to stay calm!And about the sinning, I’m sure I’m the biggest christian sinner there is…but somehow through it all I know that God still loves me.

    About the anniversarys – my brother in law committed suicide a few years back. Many people who attempt suicide are crying out for help. But this wasn’t a cry out – it was a definite intent to die – and his lonely death was horrific and his sense of hopelessness as he carried out his plan must have been overwhelming. Only that day that he killed himself my husband and I had been talking about “should we ask him if he wants to come and stay with us for awhile” but we felt that our very challenging child who was also constantly demanding, whining, whinging, screaming, would not provide the environment that he needed to heal. Why didn’t we just ask him? It might have been just what he needed! Some years before that my brother in law was killed just after our wedding and my mother in law not long after that (while we were living with her, we did CPR)…so horrific, so hard to get over, the only way you can really deal with it is by having complete faith in God…and it’s hard sometimes. None of these people who died were christians. But I say to my husband that we are not God and we also do not know what happened in the last minutes between life/death…we just have to trust God, God knows it all. It’s the only way we can deal with it, really.

    Hope that Jesse’s cold goes soon. My son struggles with colds for months at a time, he doesn’t have the best immune system and has upper respiratory challenges (hence the moderately hearing impaired).

    Te’re.

  3. Dear Heart,

    You are human! You realize your faults. Oh how I pray that so many others would do the same.

    Every day I pray for patience because I know I have a short wick. I put that other face on, the one that goes with patience. I look mean when I am angry…ugh.

    You are like the mom in “For Better or Worse”…everyone, including her husband and two kids has a cold. Tell Jesse we are thinking about him….how I love the picture of him in the appeal for the Children’s hospital! Tell him to get better soon.

    Blessings,
    Katherine

  4. Great thoughts. What I’ve discovered is that we really need to have a revelation of the Father’s love and the power of Jesus resurrection in our lives (I’m still seeking it). It’s the answer and the cure…his life in us….his perfect life. We cannot change ourselves, as much as we try, it may last for a while but then we are back to before. I suppose we need to believe that he lives in us not just to forgive sin, but to overcome sin, sickness and Satan.

    Now that is good news! Reveal it to us Father!

  5. Hello Kimberly My name is Teresa Wilson I had the pleasure of speaking to you last summer when I called about a tent rentle. I was checking out your blog. Don’t be sad our walk is a process. While you feel your sin is seperating you from God. I would have to doubt you sin on purpose. God is love and He is patient. We are week and less then forgiving with ourselves. You sounded like Paul when he said “I do not do the things I want but continue to do those things which I do not want to.” Not my best quote from scripture. Be gentle with yourself since it is obvious that your weakness stresses you I would say you have faith and are on the right path. God through His Spirit will help you overcome. We will not become as Christ without struggle. Once you have victory over one area God will show you another. So Please settle in for a life long journey into the development of Christ’s character in you.

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