From the Heart · Lessons

Heart Stirrings (Psalm 40)

I am sitting in the coffee shop, reading Psalm 40. The words are washing over me in the Word’s unique power, cleansing my soul from the sins I have already committed since waking up this morning.  A man stops by to thank me for reading my Bible. I smile, knowing it is the grace of God he sees. It is the grace of God that makes this Book so different than any other book. It is the grace of God that makes the reader stand out among the other scholars and coffee-drinkers in this place.

As I bend over my Bible, I am thinking about my place in my world. I’ve been researching flight information and tremors of excitement and yes, even fear, have tingled my heart as I see my course mapped out across the continents. Atlanta to Paris to Lome.  America to Europe to Africa. I feel small. I feel unprepared. I feel…unsure. And yet with every day I am moving closer and turning back is no longer an option.

Then I think of the children who cannot go to school because their families have no money for clothes or books. I think of the parents who watch their children die from malaria, typhoid fever, and cholera because the only water to drink is full of disease. I think of the bare-footed people walking to the market to buy sacrifices for an unknown god who will maybe be pleased to bless them. I have read their stories, I have seen their pictures, and my heart has wept for them.

I want to go to them — not because of what I  can do for them, but because of what God has already done for them. I want them to know– I want them to know Jesus. He has changed my life and He loves to change lives.

And as I read Psalm 40, I am amazed at how the Word of God speaks to me right here in this suburban coffee shop and how it speaks to the little bare-foot children half a world away. Today I am making this passage my own and letting it sink in and remind me of what — and Who — this life is really about.

Psalm 40:1-10, in my own words:

Wait patiently for the Lord….He does hear my cry.

Remember His faithfulness in the past. He saw me at my worst, He dove down to my depth of misery, He lifted me. He made everything sad come untrue. He placed my unsteady feet on solid ground, securing me in the Rock of my Salvation.

Because of Him, I have joy. My soul sings.

Other people will hear my song and see my joy and they too will find their hope in God. Our praise echoes across the mountains, ripples over the oceans and grows, reaching up to the Sun.

Blessing is making Christ my home, finding rest and identity in Him and stepping off the worldly path of self-fulfillment.

The more I know about God, the more I realize I can never know it all. His mind overwhelms mine and His goodness is an ocean full. If I used every known word and even if I never took a breath, I could never describe the fullness of God. I will be talking about Him for eternity and never run out of words.

God does not want the work of my hands or my popsicle-stick “good deeds” creations – He wants my attention, my heart and ears captive to His Words, my life moldable to His voice, my will sensitive to His.  

I can’t keep still or silent when I think of all God has done for me. It must be known – God must be known! I’ve opened my mouth and His faithfulness and love spills out. I speak so others may know what it is like to be transformed by the grace of God. 

The sun is shining in as I step outside on to the city street, my coffee in one hand and my Bible in the other. I am trusting that this stirring of my heart is God’s work and He has a plan. Here, Africa, or anywhere — by the grace of God, I go.

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