To desire a change in circumstance without requirement or condition upon our hearts, lifestyles, or behaviors is common to all people. From our beds of comfort, we cry out: Lord, save us from unrest! Save us from discomfort! Save our luxuries, our health, our personal freedoms! — Or we die!
Our Father reaches down from heaven’s heights to save our very hearts and souls from the flames desiring to devour us all around, to pluck us up from our beds and save us from the house burning down our circular path, and we wail: No, Father! My bed is best! Save my bed! Save my toys! Make sure none of my softest clothes are singed! — I cannot let You take me unless You also deliver my bed!
But the bed is already burning. For years it has clouded your vision, ruined all sense of taste and smell, though you refuse to be parted from it. It is ruined and melting into the flames and you will soon be consumed with it! He cannot deliver the bed; the bed is worthless.
It is the child in the burning house that the Father seeks to save, the child our Father’s love, devotion, and strength is spent upon! — God knows! — He can afford many more beds! Better beds! Beds that rest in mansions unspoiled far from this world’s trouble!
Child! — Do you hear the whipping of the flames all around you now? It is your heart, body, and soul, dear child, the Father desires to deliver. What is your bed of circumstance to Him?
If your bed is too soft, does He not see how your bones will be set awry?
If your bed is too hard, does He not know how to ease the aches of your muscles?
If your bed is too short, what is a little patience for your Master Carpenter who goes to prepare a perfect bed for you?
But if you find your bed so perfect here, your toys so wonderfully plentiful, your own strength so delightfully lithe — as His child — shall He not address the imperfections and transgressions of your tears?
Our hearts know only one Master: We will wash our own feet with our tears or we will wash the Master’s, but we cannot love ourselves and love God. When we try that we indeed wail to Him with many tears… but none of which contain our heart.
“For the heart is deceitfully wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9)
And only our Father knows the depths of it.
Father, let us not wail as those who desire to escape punishment but do not desire Your refinements at heart and soul. Forgive us when this has been the case. Purify our hearts, know us inside and out. Let us not, after preaching to others, be led astray in our own ways, by our own eyes, by our own crafty hearts. May we hunger and thirst for righteousness. Amen.