Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Infected and Wounded Places of the Heart

Studying medicine can be weird stuff. The body is sometimes ok with things that aren't supposed to be inside of it and sometimes it just freaks out. Case in point: Cysts and Abscesses. 
Yes, I realize that this could get really gross really fast. Being an ER Nurse, I've worn my fair share of eye/body protection while an infected cyst or an abscess was lanced and drained. Not the most glamorous part of the job! However, after being opened, drained, and sometimes packed to ensure healing from the inside-out, the area finally has a chance to completely heal. If not dealt with, these spots could eventually grow into a much worse infection that could poison the entire body (sepsis). 

When it comes to life, we all have spots inside of us that are unhealed or ugly. Painful wounds that we avoid or secret sins that we allow to tunnel (often unknowingly). Much like a cyst, it might exist almost undetected for years and years with little to no perceived consequence. Often however, these prevent us from the intimacy we were intended to enjoy with our Creator. Without continually allowing the light of God's love to reveal our true nature and heart, those spots will control us without our even realizing it. Sometimes the ugliness is so calloused over that we in our own strength cannot see it. This is where the love of God is able to seep into the deepest and darkest parts of our being and drain the ugly that continues to poison us. Standing before the Creator of the universe completely without excuse and naked is a terrifyingly raw and vulnerable thought. Choosing to not hide behind excuses or our "good works" and being open and vulnerable to the God of the universe is one of the LAST things on my "to-do" list. Realizing though that "great achievement involves great risk" tells me that if I want to reach my God-ordained potential, I must be willing to do the uncomfortable things and allow Him to reveal the ugliness of my heart.

Would you like to know something I did to help jump-start this whole "revelation" thing??? Well, October 25th of last year I got married. Then we got a job together working the same shift. Every week. For six months. Then we took turns getting our cars worked on. One vehicle, one job with the same schedule, 24/7. We went from a long-distance engagement to being on the exact same schedule all of the time. You want to have the ugliness in your heart come out a little faster?? Throw another human into your life who finds all of your buttons and is in all of your business. The things I have learned about myself over the last few months have made me a very humbled person. My sweet husband, well thank goodness God gave me a patient one! God has used him to pull out some toxins that I have successfully lived with for over 20 years! Completely undetected! If I have learned nothing else about marriage, I can at least tell you that marriage brings out the best but also the worst in you. Your spouse does not make you a bad person, they simply help reveal how terrible of a person you are capable of being. 

Along the same lines, the more that my husband and I intentionally sort through the rubbish of our hearts and learn about one another, the closer we grow to one another and to God. A patient on their own cannot always see the deep infected cysts or abscesses in their body. They must often first experience and acknowledge the symptoms then seek out a doctor for help. The doctor, in turn can use the light of technology to reveal what is on the inside and find the cause of their symptoms. This is a limited example in that with God, we can know about problems before they cause symptoms; something not necessarily true in the Doctor-patient relationship. In the same way, the more time we spend with God actively seeking His revealing presence, the more He is able to point out and remove the toxins of our heart while further purifying us with His light. 

In Psalm 139, the author pleads with God to "search me and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any grievous way in me". He even goes further to point out that "even before a word is on my tongue, you know it all together." God not only knows our hearts and what they have been through but He also knows our potential! He will not force His way into our hearts, He simply waits for us to open them to His healing light. 

Are there symptoms that you have been experiencing that could be indicative of an ailment only able to be revealed by your Creator? My prayer is for boldness to continue to fight off pride and allow God to reveal the ugly of my heart. Further to help me to surrender those wounds and pockets of sin to His cleansing light!