Whispers of Faith

Pieces of a Real Heart

“Blessed are those who find themselves wholly empty, because they have space to be holy filled with God.”

That was the quote I read from Ann Voskamp tonight.

And dead dreams stare me in the face. And whisper what hope is there left in this world? And I wonder what’s the point in having the dream if it doesn’t come true? Doesn’t life sometimes feel like a balloon that’s been pricked and deflated? And yes, I feel wholly empty, wondering if I will ever again be full.

But the sweetest reminder came in the seat of a church sanctuary yesterday morning. I have a High Priest who sympathetically resonates with me. I think He doesn’t know the depth to which my anguish goes? The pastor tells us that the sinlessness of Christ shows that He was tempted far beyond any human being with an intensity that we will never understand. How do we know this? Because we’ve all given into temptation long before it rose to maximum intensity. But our Savior never gave in, because He was lashed to the crossbeam of obedience. He already endured all the pain we’ve gone through and more. He feels my pain and His heart breaks because of it. And He knows how to get me through it all because He’s gone before me … and He conquered the sins that want to bring me down.

And even more, He opens my eyes to see something unfathomable … that perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to see His dream and plans for my life unless the other ones died away. Maybe my mind has been so constricted by my own human desires that I just couldn’t see how His greater purpose brings Him more glory. And what He wants more than anything? For me to fall in love with Him. For me to know Him better than I ever have before. For me to learn what true faith is … walking steadily ahead when I can’t see where the pathway ends, my hand in His.

John Piper says, “Therefore God’s love labors and suffers to break our bondage to the idol of self and focus our affections on the treasure of God.” And this is the only way that He can break down the idol of self in my life … and my eyes weep for how far above I put myself over God. How I’ve thought that I deserved it or how my pretty little dreams would have been so perfect … and the scream that ricochets off my lungs when those dreams don’t come true shows just how much faith I’ve put in myself rather than in God’s eternal plan.

But oh the love of the Father. It overwhelms me. He wants to pull me close in this 40 days before Easter … this journey to the cross. He wants to open my eyes to the fullness of Him, and my heart is so thirsty to drink in all He has to offer. He whispers to me, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15) I do not have to fight. I simply have to be still in my Father’s arms and He will win the victory for me. Nothing has ever seemed so beautiful.

“If I let these dreams die … if I could just lay down my dark desires … if I let these dreams die, will I find You’ve brought me back to life? Empty my hands … fill up my heart … capture my heart with You.” (Tenth Avenue North)

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