Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Day of Heart Lessons


Heart lessons can be so challenging! I seem to be able to absorb lessons in my mind so much more easily than into my heart.

These pearls, for instance. Someone stole them, along with the whole box of jewelry.

I know these verses and I believe them.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
 I know this parable.
“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
 And I know its explanation.
"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.  The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
I know those verses. So why has it taken until today for things to reach my heart? 

Heart lessons are more than just knowing the lesson. They convict me of sin and show me the path I must take, not merely fitting into my mind like a puzzle piece. They change me.

Heart lessons are often hard lessons.  

Take this one. I had a box full of treasure tucked away doing nothing of eternal value. Until my treasure was stolen by a thief, I was blissfully unthinking, merely assuming it was mine because it was there. But the day after the break-in and theft, as I mourned the loss of the value of the collection, particularly some items with sentimental meaning, it was as if my heavenly Father whispered to me, "Daughter, I have need of MY jewelry elsewhere." 

I started thinking about the "deceitfulness of wealth." I have been deceived. I thought the jewelry was 'mine', even as I said everything I had was His. I never once thought about putting it to eternal uses. Oh, as the value of gold and silver increased I toyed with the idea of selling some of the pieces I didn't care that much about, but in essence I fooled myself, not thinking of this collection of jewelry as "treasure on earth"--in fact, not thinking about it much at all! It was there and it was mine and that was that. 

Until my heavenly Father decided He needed to relocate His jewelry. I don't need to know why, nor to what uses He plans to put it. I simply need to gracefully accept His will and perhaps start to look around to see if I have any other "treasure on earth" that I haven't considered. It would have been such a blessing to have been involved in the redistribution of that jewelry. That would have changed my heart, too, in a way that would have brought me joy and freedom. But since I missed that opportunity, being deceived as I was, maybe now I'll recognize the next opportunity. 

I'm so grateful for this hard but valuable heart lesson. Like a good daddy, the Lord takes things from me when I hold too tightly to what is 'mine'. He wants me to share. I'm learning.