I have just returned from a week-long Living Waters training conference called Sexual Redemption and…
I was standing at the kitchen sink, frozen in place. Another huge blowup in our home had just concluded with the official ending: a teenager slams a bedroom door, my husband returns to the television and I fight back tears of frustration and sorrow. I wonder, do I pour a glass of wine or make a cup of chamomile tea? Do I call one of my sisters and let the tears flow? Do I put on a rosary podcast and soothe myself with its peaceful rhythm?
Jesus’ words quietly filled my heart, “everything you need, you have.” He has spoken these words to my heart before. It is His reminder to me that I need not look exteriorly for the relief I am seeking in a moment of emotional suffering. The relief I need will be found interiorly, when I seek His abiding Presence in the heart of my heart.
In the moment described above, what I thought I needed (read: WANTED) was to vent to someone, to receive empathy, to feel sorry for myself for a moment, to numb the pain of family dysfunction. Jesus showed me that all I actually needed was HIM.
When I pull into the heart of my heart and spend a moment with Jesus, I receive the gift of integrated healing; healing for my heart, mind, spirit and soul. He truly gives me everything! Reaching exteriorly for comfort or healing, even when reaching for a good option (like a prayer podcast) leaves me lacking. Jesus always comforts and soothes me AND often goes a step beyond to provide healing of my deeper woundedness. He has revealed to me why these fairly typical family altercations hurt my heart so much by peeling back a layer at a time, exposing places within me that are not yet trusting or surrendering to Him. I will share with you at some point more about those distrusting, controlling places within me (I imagine a few of you might relate 😊). But today, what I really feel called to share is what it’s like in the heart of my heart where Jesus and I meet.
Do you remember the scene in Mary Poppins when Mary, Burt and the kids step into the paintings on the sidewalk and are magically transported into the scene? That is exactly what happens to me when I turn inward (well almost exactly what happens, minus the tap dancing penguins). I close my eyes, breathe a few deep breaths while speaking His name, Jesus…Jesus. And I step into the 23rd psalm.
Psalm 23 comes alive within me! It’s just Jesus and me, sitting beside a peaceful stream, listening to it trickling along. I am leaning back upon Him and He has His strong arms around me. Close your eyes for a second and envision that. See yourself sitting with Jesus in this way. Can you feel the safety and the strength of our Lord’s embrace? Breathe deeply and lean even further into Him.
“The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.” – Psalm 23: 1-2
Soul restoration! And I was going to settle for a little empathy! Jesus, my dearest Friend and Lover of my soul, the only One who knows me perfectly, always meets the deepest needs of my heart, mind, spirit and soul.
I would be remiss if I didn’t state plainly that what Jesus knows I need is not always the same as what I think I want. Sometimes receiving what I need from Jesus feels challenging! Soul restoration requires that I see more clearly my own sinfulness, fearfulness, pride or lack of virtue. And even in that, our Lord is so gentle and kind, revealing myself to me in small portions.
I also want to state plainly that reaching out to a trusted friend or sister in a moment of need is good! Having other humans in our life who we can talk and pray with is a wonderful blessing. And I find it essential for my continued spiritual development that I forego, at times, the immediate satisfaction of hearing someone say, “I am sorry that happened!” or “I know what you’re going through; I’m here for you,” and turn to the Lord instead.
My deepest needs – and truest desires – can only be fulfilled by the Lord. He strengthens my spirit, cleanses my mind and purifies the intentions of my heart. He alone makes me whole. He alone makes me new. He alone is everything I need.
“He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the LORD
for endless days.”
Copyright 2020 De Yarrison