The times they are a-changin'.
Since I got back to Chicago and up until yesterday, the weather was unbearable (at least to this spoiled southern Californian). High 80-90s with 80% or more humidity. You never stop sweating. GROSSSS.
But yesterday, yesterday temps were in the 60s!!
Wind was whipping at your ankles. Delicious.
And for me, the one who sweats, I was feeling like life was being poured back into my veins. I love crisp weather. I love not feeling over-heated. I love a cold reason for a good hot vanilla latte with an added shot of espresso.
The suddenness in this change of weather caught me off guard. I'm a Southern Californian, we have good weather and great weather allllll year long!!
This sudden change made me aware of how God works with our souls, with our hearts. Once we had hearts of stone and God gave us hearts of flesh (Ez 11:19). Once we were without God's word and then he wrote it on our hearts (Jer 31:33). Sometimes his process of sanctifying our souls can take a lifetime and sometimes he works at light speed (which I'm sure, for him, is still slower than a turtle) When I got back to Chicago a couple of weeks ago, after being in California for almost four months, my heart was not in a good place. I wanted to be back with my family, my friends and the comfort & convenience of the summer. I was depressed and dreading so many aspects of Chicago life as a student. I asked God to change my heart, for even the regenerate need to practice confession and ask for renewal (Ps 51). God desires for us to be conformed to his will in both word and deed. He sent his son, gave us a heart of flesh, wrote his word on our hearts, and sent us a helper (Jn 14:26) so that we might be able to acknowledge his will and love being included in it.
I asked God to change my heart. To take away the longing for what I did not have and make me grateful for where he had me and what he had/has in store for me.
He's done it, he changed my heart. No circumstances in this scenario changed. I'm still in Chicago, still thousands of miles from home. I don't want to make this sound like some cheap infomercial, like for laser hair removal. "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!!"
1. Because God does not work for 2 Easy Payments of $39.95 + S&H
2. Because God does not work under quid pro quo terms
3. Because a heart change is a much more complex, intimate & vulnerable process than some cheap transaction that isn't in fact 100% guaranteed to work.
4. Because a true heart change can not be accomplished by fallen human means but is a supernatural matter.
Writing about this desired heart change in the same post that contains the knowledge that God did in fact answer my prayer and provided what he knew I needed feels in some ways too quick & dirty.
We live in a society that devours tension, withholding natures, hype and the build up that we hope will lead to a favorable peak. We go to movies to see this process. The best movies have each of these elements in dynamic proportions.
At the same time we live in a society that also survives on instant gratification. We Americans are the Veruca Salts of the world.
I could have written about my depressed state, written about my sinful longing of what I didn't have and discontent with what was right in front of me. Could have made you longingly wait for God to act.... Will he do it?... Will he?
But that presents what I think is trust issue. We must believe that God will do what he tells us he will do. We must take heed to his word and place our lives in the reliability of his character and promises. Even when the day is dismal and only further darkness is in sight, we must know that he is faithful (Rom. 8:18-30).
Just as sure as the changing of seasons and the sometimes suddenness with which they come, so is there assurance that God will move. Pay attention, chances are he's already at work.