Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stirrings in the Heart

Barely there little ripples.

Small, hardly noticeable movements that would not cause anyone to pause at all. In the beginning, the one to call that place home is not even aware of them.

These stirrings start up slowly. They grow and build...bumping into one another.

The home is the heart. The rippled movements the stirrings of the Holy Spirit.

You have felt this before too...I am sure.

I am not talking about the day to day guidance: The pulls on our heart over different choices for any given situation—calling us, urging us to choose truth, life and righteousness. Usually those promptings are quite strong and get my attention quickly. Whether to heed them or not is up to that free-will I was gifted with at creation.

No, these stirrings I am making mention of today are of the deeper kind.

These are the stirrings that, once they have your attention, you know that something big is about to happen.

For me personally, I prepare for the ride. I feel a nervous excitement. I wait expectantly--wondering what He wants to do in me and how He plans to do the doing of it.

Other times, I admit, I try to run and hide. “Oh no...not again...not so soon, Father. I am still adjusting to that other bumpy ride we just went on! Couldn’t I just PLEASE have a longer visit up here on the mountain top. The view is lovely and that valley down there looks dismally dark.”

Still occasionally my rotting flesh, strong and putrid, digs its feet into the ground and declares boldly. “No! I’m not going there. There is nothing wrong with this area of my life. I like being... thinking.... feeling this way. Come back later when you have some other advantageous change to offer. This one stays put!”

Ahhh...what spiritual maturity! What a pretty, pliable, plowed heart!

For this stirring...for this season of the journey...my heart is expectant.

I first noticed the activity a couple of months ago. The Holy Spirit, in collaboration with the God of all heaven and earth, has been setting the groundwork. Restlessness started settling in. I can now, looking back, sense motion in the several months preceding that...possibly up to a year ago. Yes, this is going to be a big working. I sense the freedom that is coming even now.

Sunday was truly a day of rest here. We were up and out as a family late on Saturday evening, returning home when the night was closely brushing up against morning. We chose to stay home, sleep in and worship God as a family instead of dragging tired bodies through time schedules and procedures that would not have made for worshipful hearts even as we entered into our fellowship of worship.

I had no idea how blessed a decision it would be!

Looking back on the day, I am not sure how it was possible with little ones and such, but I was able to spend as much time alone, in prayer and in the word as I spent out of it. During the little ones afternoon naps, I escaped to my own room for almost 4 hours. (Incidentally, this does not happen in my world.)

But this day was special. The timing was ordained by the hands of God. Those I take care of took care of themselves and each other—without my asking—and my appointment with God was met.

The no longer subtle stirrings were brought to the feet of the cross, to the One who hears all my cries. The ocean of mercy that I swim in daily overtook me. The Holy Spirit calmed my own waves of concern in what this change could be about before they could wash over me. I found myself relaxing in this current of grace.

To not fight against the Current. That is the most difficult, is it not? To trust God in the midst of the pulling forces—His way or my way... Holiness or worldliness... freedom in Christ or bondage to performance... what He reveals to me or what I see working in and for others. To align my heart with the heart of Christ while letting go of what I think, feel and see in others riding the wave with me.

I feel some type of freedom trying to emerge. I am excited, yet nervous just the same.

The stirring is just the beginning.

Once He has our attention the “coincidental” flow of perfectly timed treasures begin to reveal themselves and make sense. You know what I mean? That statement made by someone that just jumped out at you. The devotion that pierced your heart. The worship song that bent your will while it bent your knees. The article you read that was “just what you needed to hear”. The culmination of all of these that makes you begin to “question the current operating procedure”. They all seem to glaringly point to one area of one’s life.

I am getting ready for the ride.

I eagerly anticipate where this stirring in my heart is leading up to. After my Sunday, I have a very good idea. I await His timing for His unveiling, His revealing.

I think I have been waiting for this stirring for a long time now.

Come, Lord Jesus, I am ready for a fresh work within!