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Friday, November 4, 2011

Keep a Quiet Heart . . .

“Lord, You have assigned my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure.” Psalm 16:5
Lord, give to me a quiet heart
That does not ask to understand,
But confident steps forward in
The darkness guided by Thy hand.
--Elizabeth Elliot

I have been cautious to share too much of my heart on this blog because I fear it could be misinterpreted or misunderstood. And yet, I’ve felt the Lord gently nudge me in that direction over the past several weeks. I feel like He’s affirmed through His Word and my time with Him that I need to be more transparent with others – that I need to share what I’m learning through this season of healing and trusting (even the yucky stuff). In essence, He’s said (although not audibly) – “Kels, if you’re not sharing and applying what you’re learning then you’re not being being a good steward of my faithfulness. My dear child, don’t waste your waiting.”
And thus . . . I’m going to try and share more faithfully the truths the Lord is revealing to me in the hopes it will encourage you in your own walk, and perhaps, draw you closer to our Heavenly Father (whose greatest longing is to be fully known and fully glorified through our hearts and lives).
You would think that almost half a year after the loss of our 2nd child, I would’ve moved on . . . I would be through grieving, through missing our “hope deferred,” and through wondering if we’ll ever have another child. But nothing could be further from the truth. I think about our loss every day – sometimes several times a day. Although I’m definitely healing and I’m so grateful for that – sometimes the hurt grips me (especially when my body, my bloodwork, or my doctor reminds me things still aren’t right). Sometimes Satan whispers horrible lies in my ear and sometimes I believe them. Those are the rough days. I know all of you can relate to your own “rough days” as well. 

However, our Lord is ever faithful. He never stops showing Himself to me in the most personal and loving ways. His timing is impeccable. Sometimes, He smiles at me through a scripture or a song. Sometimes, He reveals Himself through a chapter in a book and sometimes He simply manifests Himself in a random act of beauty – like a perfectly formed flower or my daughter’s imperfectly formed toothy grin. His message is always the same – I love you, my child. I have a purpose in all things. I know what I’m doing. Trust me. Seek me. Surrender.   

And so, that’s exactly what I’m learning (rather relearning) to do. Give Him my heart, my longings, my hurts, my fears, my life and simply believe in Him. Easier said than done – right!? It’s a daily, moment-by-moment sort of thing. In laymen’s terms – it’s death and sometimes I’m not too found of letting go. But, it’s necessary. Let me rephrase that – it’s absolutely necessary! I’m just a jumbled, useless mess otherwise (just ask my husband).

And so enough rambling . . .

--The excerpt below is from a book called, “Keep a Quiet Heart,” by Elisabeth Elliot. It’s a brilliant book written by a woman who genuinely walks with God. I have omitted parts so as to keep this post to a more reasonable length. I pray it encourages you – no matter what you may be facing – to keep a quiet heart.
“Purity of heart, said Kierkegaard, is to will one thing. The Son willed only one thing: the will of His Father. That’s what He came to earth to do. Nothing else. One whose aim is as pure as that can have a completely quiet heart, knowing what the psalmist knew: “Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure,” (Psalm 16:5). I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things which happen to us which do not belong to our lovingly assigned “portion” (This belongs to it, that does not)? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?

Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter . . .

A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace. . . All is under my Father’s control. My portion. Mu cup. My lot is secure. My heart can be at peace. My Father is in charge. How simple!

My assignment entails my willing acceptance of my portion – in matters far beyond comparison with trivialities, such as a death of a precious baby . . . We can only know that Eternal Love is wiser than we, and we bow in adoration of that loving wisdom.

Response is what matters. Remember that our forefathers were all guided by the pillar of clouds, all passed through the sea, all ate and drank the same spiritual food and drink, but God was not pleased with most of them. Their response was all wrong. Bitter about the portions allotted they indulged in idolatry, gluttony, and sexual sin. And God killed them by snakes and by a destroying angel. The same almighty God apportioned their experience. All events serve His will. Some responded in faith. Most did not.

”No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Think of that promise and keep a quiet heart! Our enemy delights in disquieting us. Our Savior and Helper delights in quieting us. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” is His promise (Is 66:13). The choice is ours. it depends on our willingness to see everything in God, receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers. Shall I charge Him with a mistake in His measurements or with misjudging the sphere in which I can best learn to trust Him? Has He misplaced me? Is He ignorant of things or people which, in my view, hinder my doing His will?

God came down and lived in this same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world, subject to its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed – not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

And so, my friends, I am asking the Lord to show me what it means to keep a quiet heart – to rest and abide in His loving grip of grace & to know it’s the sweetest place to be. He’s been faithful to answer my prayer (when I pray it) with His peace that passes all understanding. I pray your heart will experience His peace today as well.

1 comment:

  1. Kelsey, thanks for sharing your heart. I just started more actively blogging myself, and checked my own profile which led me to yours (little history there). But just this morning I read 1 Peter 2 which reminded me about keeping a quiet heart, and I was thinking of it specifically with relation to how it blesses Scott. So, you are right that sharing your heart helps others with their walk; it helped me and I just wanted you to know.