1Timothy 1:5, “… a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith.”
Colin and I, and my friend, Val Stares (fellow-helper in the ministry of Above Rubies since its inception over 27 years ago) were driving home from town recently, exclaiming rapturously over the beautiful sight of the bare winter trees silhouetted in the twilight sky. The fine outer branches and twigs of the trees looked like intricate lace.
We could see every branch and every twig as the trees are laid bare for winter. God is a God of seasons –- hot and cold, springtime and harvest. Just as it is necessary to have the “bare” winter in the physical realm, it is also important in the spiritual realm. It is good to have a season where we allow our hearts to be laid bare before the Lord.
We do not see the heart of the tree when it is covered with leaves. In the same way, we can cover up many things in our lives with “leaves”. We can look good on the outside and yet have ugly habits or attitudes that we have not dealt with hiding away on the inside.
The bare branches and twigs speak of our inner thoughts, intents and motives -- motives that God alone sees, not even our husband. Why do we do what we are doing? What is our motive? Why do we speak the way we do? What is the underlying reason? In fact, it is a good idea to ask the Lord such questions. “Why am I angry?” “Why am I yelling at the children?” “Why am I always depressed?” If you come into God’s presence and take time to listen, He will answer you and show you the answer, so you can put it right.
Here and there we noticed birds’ nests in the bare trees which we did not notice when they were covered with leaves. Often, we too, nest things in our hearts – good or bad. Sometimes we have a grudge and grow a nest all around it. Or we harbor unforgiveness and make a nest of it, building up a foreign body in our hearts.
As you walk through this winter season of bare trees, do you think you could also lay your heart bare before the Lord? Can you let His pure light expose all your thoughts and motives? All the shadows? All the dark areas? Whatever He exposes, repent of it and deal with it.
Forget the façade. Let Him shine His light on all that hides in your heart? Throw away your nests of revenge, hurt or self pity which show up when your heart is exposed.
Make sure that your heart is pure and cleansed before the new season’s leaves grow again.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Lord, I lay my heart bare before you. Expose everything in my heart that grieves your Holy Spirit. Please help me to get rid of all “cover ups”. I want a pure heart. Amen.”
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.