My five year old came home from church this week explaining to me all about heaven. "There's no more bad guys there and no one will be sad or scared anymore. Nobody will need a doctor anymore because we won't get sick or hurt. I can't wait to go there!" His enthusiasm for heaven had me contemplating my own longing for that day, when we will be perfect with God. I can't wait - why can't it be like that now?
When I came to Christ many years ago, I imagined that all of my weaknesses would be wiped out and that my imperfections would be filled in as God fixed up my broken heart. My heart is broken in all the usual ways - unmet needs, sins that linger, impure thoughts, stumbling blocks and the like. And the truth is, He has healed me from my sinful nature and He has delivered me from the power of sin, but I still struggle with daily challenges, making mistakes time and time again and feeling a deep emptiness inside.
If I could name my greatest desire, it would be this: a perfectly healed heart with pure motives, right thinking and complete fulfillment in God. I ache with the knowledge that there is something more for me, that my experience in this life is incomplete and marred because of sin. I want God to take away that ache, to make it all better - and I know He will, just not quite yet.
When I wonder about His timing in bringing complete healing, complete freedom from sin, and complete oneness with His heart, I'm reminded of an expression someone once told me. He said, "thank God for your burdens, because they cause you to lean on Him." It's a simple sentence and yet one that transforms my heart when I feel heavy with burdens and the fallen nature of this world. It's at that moment when I am weakest, when I am the neediest, that I sense my need for God the most. That's when I turn to Him, when I rely on Him and lean hard on Him because I know I could not manage without Him.
Perhaps what God really wants from me and in me is not so much a perfect heart as a needy heart. He said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. My heart is hungry and thirsty these days, and so I thank God for that, for the hunger that causes me to turn to Him and feast on His Word and the thirst that draws me into His presence regularly.
What burdens can you thank God for today? What challenges are you facing that are causing you to rely on Him?