Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's In A Word?

Do you ever have times when you hear something, and it just sticks in your head? It’s usually some ridiculous car insurance jingle or something on that level. But sometimes it’s something that causes you to stop and really think.  A single word that stirs your soul.

That word for me this week is

Yeah, I know…doesn’t seem very soul-stirring, does it? It’s not even a very pretty word. There are no romantic images that immediately pop into my head when I see it or speak it.

But when I put that word in the context of “cultivating” my heart, it’s stunning.

Let me back up just a little, without getting into too much detail. My life lately has been an emotional roller coaster. I attribute this to the fact that I have been trying for far too long to do things MY way, rather than to lean in to God and take his lead. When things didn’t go the way I wanted, I got discouraged; I numbed myself emotionally; and I allowed my heart to become hardened. Needless to say, there has been very little joy present in my life recently.

Fast forward a little now…

A precious friend of mine directed me to a podcast of a sermon from her church and as I listened, there was talk of becoming broken. Wait a minute…you’re probably wondering why someone would want to be broken, right? I mean, being broken HURTS. Being broken means you’re laying in a heap on the ground and you can’t do anything for yourself.

Ohhhh, BINGO!

This kind of broken is Holy and Sacred. {GOD – Break Me So You Can Make Me!!!!} This kind of broken is the beginning toward a “cultivation” of one’s heart.

The dictionary definition(s) of cultivate are:

  • to prepare and work on (as in tilling the land)
  • to promote or improve the growth of
  • to care for, attend to

I love the analogy that was used in the sermon: how when the ground becomes so hard, it will not readily soak in life-giving water. Hard, dry, cracked earth resists that which it so desperately needs.

And so it is with us. We harden our hearts to God and in so doing we become resistant to the “water from Heaven” that He so desperately wants to shower down on us.

But, He knows what it will take in order to get us to start soaking it in. He knows that, like the earth, our hearts must be worked, must be broken, must be tilled up from the depths of our darkness. And at that moment is when we can begin our process of cultivation.

Our hearts begin to be alive again. The life-giving water seeps into every broken piece and softens it. The broken, jagged edges begin to shift and move together to form fertile soil.

And the result? Nothing less than miraculous…

We grow
We experience unsurpassed joy
We know Love – not fleeting love – “Capital L” L-O-V-E!

If you’re feeling crumpled and laying on the ground; if you’re in a place where you don’t have the ability to get back up; REJOICE! Yes, I said rejoice…praise God, because you are in the exact place you need to be in order for him to MAKE YOU!!!

Open your arms wide in praise. Open your mouth in song to Him. Allow Him to rain down on you and refresh you to the depths of your soul.

Isaiah 55:10-13

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.


1 comment:

Donna said...

Beautiful blog and beautiful sentiments.

Stopping by from the LBS tea party.

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