Where Our Hearts Should Be

Years ago when I was grappling with the impact of my sudden illness that strapped me in bed all day, and even just to close my eyes and succumb to weariness was a scary thing, I would imagine the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the clouds with all His glory. I would imagine Him there suspended in the clouds while all of creation beholds Him, and I would take comfort and joy, amidst the pain and suffering and fear, in thinking that He’s coming back for me at last. That was my shining hope. It still is.

Only now, I scarcely imagine Him coming in the clouds, for I’ve slowly learned to take joy in the things around me, as my body gradually heals. As I began to relearn to dream, to aspire, to plan, even with my fragile health, feelings of sadness and frustrations are increasing as I draw joy more and more from my dreams.

Sure I haven’t given up my desire to travel and testify and share the Gospel, and this is a noble dream to have, aligned with the will of God. But I also dream (yearn!) of tending my home and family myself. I dream of remodeling our kitchen – mahogany cabinets, granite countertops, overhead oven – and working in it myself, not the maids. I dream of rising up early in the morning, praising and worshiping God longer, of preparing breakfast for my family and see the kids off to school with their healthy lunch packed neatly in their  boxes, of walking through our garden, tending the plants, growing my own kitchen garden…

I long to travel with my family to distant places once again, to see Europe, North America…

I hurt and I hunger, for all these remain a dream. When I cook, I’m assisted by maids. They bring everything to me on my working table, and that is outside of our kitchen for it would be tedious for me to be working there.

So I dream some more and the more I do it, the more I hunger and it is really painful. And I want to look for a way out.  There must be a hidden wisdom somewhere to shed light to this kind of hunger and waves of wistfulness, and set me free! And while I pondered, I was given this:

29 But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.

32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. (1 Cor. 7: 29-35 NLT)

My dreams are not selfish, but if God is not giving fulfillment to any of them, as yet, I should not despair. I have been examining my heart lately and maybe the problem lies in our desire to have lives here on earth pat – perfect health, beautiful house and garden, blissful marriage, good kids, wonderful vacations, and whatever we desire that we believe would make our lives full.

But I’ve been thinking that if God filled us with all these, would we still desire Him? Would we still feel those pangs of hunger for Him? I think not. If all our treasures are here on earth, now, all the things that our hearts wish for, would we still long for heaven? No. I believe our hearts will stay earth-bound.

But the Lord Jesus counsels us to lay up treasures in heaven, for where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also (Mat. 6:21). That’s where our sights should be. That’s where all our desires and efforts should be geared towards. Lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth, for this world is passing away.

I believe God purposely leaves out places in us empty so He Himself would fill them. I believe these are present to curb the wayward tendencies of the heart. For if our lives are full now – wealth, honor, power, strength, pleasures – then we have our reward. But the Lord has reserved our rewards in heaven and He delights to present them to us when He returns.

Related: The Blessing of Hunger

Linked to Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, Women in the Word Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Walk with Him Wednesdays

14 comments on “Where Our Hearts Should Be

  1. Joanie says:

    Thank you, Rina for this beautiful truth in God’s.,Yahweh’s, Holy Words, so needed.

  2. Oh, Rina. I think about these things, too, and recently it occurred to me that even Jesus, in His perfection, preferred comfort over discomfort. That is the condition of possessing a human body that experiences pain. All the Father expects of us, though, is exactly what it expected of Him…love and obedience that overcomes reluctance. And we can do that…we can do that.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yes, Mrs. P., by God’s grace we can do it. This encouragement is beautifully captured in the song “Can’t Live a Day Without You” by Avalon.

  3. Thank you, Rina, for sharing. Isn’t it wonderful that we can learn to be content even when we’re in bed injured (I’ve been there) and we can also enjoy the good times. Wherever God places us, we can be content and maybe even “enjoy” (a little, if we’re sick). Thank you for sharing. It reminds me to enjoy today’s health even more as I remember I was in bed for 10 months.

  4. salina19 says:

    Rina, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it. You are in my prayers hun.

  5. Cynthia Swenson says:

    Rina, I love & am amazed at the Scritures you selected! God is so amazing how He “speaks” to us. I just want to say after working hard lots of years to care for my nine children that I think I would love your maids! Also, the post on competition really made me think; the verse about “thinking more highly of others than ourselves” keeps coming to mind.I just don’t know how we can strive to be better than others or to be the first and still be loving others so I just agree with you that competition seems bad! I DO NOT like to compete. Thanks for sharing, love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      Oh, Cynthia, I know you’d love to have my maids, even Ms. Sally Clarkson mentioned in one of her books how she wished they had a full-time maid :)! Thank you for your input on the Bible’s teaching of “thinking more highly of others than ourselves” – a good constant reminder. I believe a Christian can strive to be better, but focusing on God and not on the people around him. God promised to lift up the humble; He will make His obedient children “the head and not the tail” (and I’ve heard numerous testimonies of this kind). So, it’s not competition but humility and obedience in God.

      Thank you and praying that the Lord will continue to shine upon you,
      Rina

  6. Charlotte says:

    God does everything in His own time, and as we’ve learned over and over, His timing is not our timing. But His is the perfect timing. As with all the posts you share, this one is inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

  7. Pamela says:

    I’ve been thinking of heaven this week, too. Too often I long to be there, yet God says, “Occupy until I come.” So I’m at the business of doing the best joy of occupying. I find grace and strength for each day — like with manna, not a bit more or a bit less than I need. I agree, with all we desire we may just want to stay on earth forever!

  8. Wendy says:

    Quote: “…Sure I haven’t given up my desire to travel and testify and share the Gospel…”

    I know it’s not travel, but the internet provides the opportunity to shed God’s Gospel abroad no matter where we are. I am always encouraged by this fact and hope you will draw some encouragement from this too.

    Quote: “… I have been examining my heart lately and maybe the problem lies in our desire to have lives here on earth pat – perfect health, beautiful house and garden, blissful marriage, good kids, wonderful vacations, and whatever we desire that we believe would make our lives full…”

    Even if we did possess all of the above, none of these things would fill up the God vacuum He has created in each of us. They would only highlight the empty vacuum more. We think we ‘need’ these things to make us happy and whole, but what we actually need is more of God. I was reading something along these lines yesterday and it really spoke to me and when I ‘crave’ or think I need ‘things’.

    • RinaPeru says:

      There are a lot of people that aren’t and cannot be reached by the Internet. Most of the unsaved and unreached, live in remote areas where there is often no electricity, let alone Internet service. Such is the case in our country Philippines. Our Church, Jesus Miracle Crusade Intl. Min., launches crusades throughout the country esp. during summer months, and that is a great opportunity to testify and share the Gospel.

      In 2006 when I received partial healing, my family traveled to provinces, supporting our church’s crusades. But ever since I gave birth to my son in 2007, I have been unable to travel because of my lingering illness.

      In 2010, by the Lord’s mercy and grace, I started blogging. I created “Minister of Mercy: A Treasure Trove of God’s Wonders, Miracles and Mighty Deeds”, sharing there the amazing testimonies of beloved brethren in Christ.

      But I do dream also of visiting the sick and the suffering whose world maybe only that of their beds and side tables.

      Sometimes, my own personal desires do draw my heart away or they taint my pure motives :(, but the Lord is faithful to remind me always.

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