so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
Like a Planted Tree
Instead of my usual karaoke session in the car during my commute today, I decided to act on my blessings from the day before and engage with the Lord. I got in my car and was about to soak in His presence when I decided to change things up a bit and use my drive to work to talk to God and use my drive back home to receive from God. So far, so good.
But lo and behold, the most exhausting day at work ensues and by the time I walk back to my car at night, I’m physically and mentally defeated. I turn on my engine, ready to zone out for the next hour, and am reaching for the radio when all of a sudden, I remember my resolution from just this morning to actively soak and receive His presence on the way home. And in that moment, I realize just how easily I forget when I’m caught up in the world and how I could have foregone the blessings He had in store for me. And then I wonder, how many times have I missed out on what He had in store, just because I was too busy for Him? I don’t even want to guess an answer, which is when He reminds me, “It’s not about how many times you’ve missed but how many times I’ve been here for you: forever. I’ve always been here, I am always here, and I will always be here.”
With that, a wave of peace washes over me and assures me. Then the Prince of Peace reminds me of my New Years QT, the tree in Psalm 1:
Blessed is the one […] whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
God, I want to be this tree, who delights in You no matter the season and whom You delight in. Root me in Your love and may everything I do stem from You.
Forever my love, forever my heart, forever my life is Yours.4 months ago
Decluttering My Heart
My eyes flutter open and automatically dart to the clock. 3:30. They close and open once more. 4:30. I silently berate myself for drinking that tea last night. At 5:30, the alarm finally rings and I peel myself out from under my covers—semi-glad because I couldn’t sleep anyways, semi-bemoaning the long day ahead of me, which has now been made even longer due to my lack of sleep. Get ready; out the door. Dismiss my mother, my petty way of letting her know that I’m still upset from our talk last night. Check traffic, not bad. Want to drown out my thoughts so I start scanning the radio but it’s all commercials, drats. As I’m on the 605, I find a CD that I haven’t listened to in a while and commence my mindless driving, which is when the questions begin flooding in.
Why am I going through the motions? Why am I drowning out my surroundings? Why has my heart grown so numb? Why am I opting for mindlessness? Why am I seeking to empty my mind rather than fill my spirit?
I’m at a loss for answers and press on my accelerator a little bit harder, hoping the added speed will distance me from the reality of these questions. But instead, Matthew 6 reverberates in my mind, as clear and loud as ever:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
And immediately, I’m reminded of John 6:27, the very verse that had convicted me to live a radical life for God and offer my sophomore summer to Him and His Kingdom work exactly three years ago in 2010:
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Before I can even begin to ask God what He means by all this, I immediately understand. My heart has been so cluttered with these earthly treasures, my stomach so filled with these earthly foods. However, even though I’m full, these false treasures and spoiling food don’t satisfy me. Instead, they leave me wanting more, doubting more, coveting more, nibbling on this food and that food to see what I’ll like more. And in the end, this becomes an unending, repetitive, mundane, numbing, mindless cycle of me trying to satiate my hunger with temporary, spoiling food. But the amazing thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Living Water, that will satisfy every hungry and thirsty soul. He IS joy, He IS peace. He knows me better than I know myself and will supply every need so that I don’t have to dabble in this and that. All He asks is to be my greatest treasure, my sole treasure, the one and only Lord of my heart. And to do that, I need to declutter my heart of all my idols, strongholds, and contempt and give my broken and sinful heart to God. Because God is love and His love burns brighter than the darkest of my sins and the arms of His grace extend wider than any sin I could ever commit.
So God, I want to fall in love with You all over again. Become my first and only Love. Fill me with Yourself and love in and through me. Because by loving with You, I will come to love You more and realign my heart to You.
“This is love: not that you loved but that He loved and sent his Son. Love starts with God; love is defined by God. All of your love is an echo and derivative from that Love.” -Mickey Cho
Appan Gangnam Style?
- Dad: Now that you're working and all, your mom and I decided that we'll take family vacations abroad every other year from now on. Europe, China, Thailand...
- Mom: Yeah, we don't want you to use up all your vacation days on us... otherwise, you won't have time to go on vacations with your boyfriend!
- Me: What boyfriend.... wait, did you guys seriously plan our future trips around my nonexistent boyfriend?!!! OTL.