Lately, I seem to have too much noise clattering around in my head leaving me a bit disorientated and somewhat overwhelmed. I have found refuge in the one place that always brings peace, Jesus’ lap. I love sitting on His lap. He takes my anxiety and turns it to dust blowing it out of His hands to never been seen again. Until I stumble again.
I have also found His wisdom and stillness by reading through “A Clean Heart Create In Me” daily Lenten reflections from C. S. Lewis. It is compilation of works by Lewis edited by Mark Neilsen for Creative Communications for the Parish. It is a hand out that I received through my church for Lent this year. At first, I read through it just as passages to read not thinking much about what I was reading. Obviously, I was not ‘reflecting’ only going through the motions of reading the words. I placed in neatly within my Bible when I had finished reading all the passages and did not think any more about it.
In the last few weeks, I took it out of my Bible, I highlighted the little prayers at the end of the passages, and I began to read those prayers during my quiet time. Then, I went back through the passages highlighting some parts of them that spoke more to my heart. Then I went back through them again and again. Wow, how they speak to my turbulent heart. When I replace the parts in the passages where Lewis uses we, him, you or us, for Me, Myself or I, the words take on a whole new meaning to me. They become personalized. I understand it better. I find God’s answers within some of those passages. That makes a huge difference in my little world.
I find myself coming back again and again to a couple passages in particular. Here is the first passage from Lewis:
A Deeper Change using the Bible verse: So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:1 Here is what Lewis says: The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great gain in life, and yet at the same time be “good.” We are all trying to let lour mind and heart go their own way—centered on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to be behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us not to do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown.
Here is the second passage:
A Higher Level using the Bible verse: Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19 Here is what Lewis says: When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well [in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected], he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along—illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation—he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level; putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.
When I read these passages using Me, Myself and I instead of the third person, the words stir within my heart and begin to move through my thoughts helping to me to remember that I need to have faith in the Lord, not to understand everything. Most of all, these passages help me to find fulfillment in being a beloved daughter of God and what He would want me to become.
It has been a huge struggle for me recently to keep my focus on Jesus. I have been easily distracted by our daily life happenings, my sister’s health, my husband’s health, my health, my mom, my fumbling with my little sister and nephew and much more. Ah, the heaviness that I have allowed darken my view. Waiting it all out and the heat of the summer have not helped to make it any easier to be patient for the Lord to work out in and around me what He is trying to accomplish.
Yet, I read ‘because God is forcing [me] on, or up, to higher level; putting [me] into situations where [I] will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than [I] ever dreamed before. It seems to [me] all unnecessary; but that is because [I] have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of [me].’ I realize my desire for the things I wish is perhaps stronger than my desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival. He knows my need better than I do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it. I want to make it about me and what I can do…not about Him and what He is better able to do.
Thank you Jesus for letting me sit on Your lap, to talk with You, and best of all to hear what You have to say.