“Create a clean heart in me, O God.”
Imagine for a moment that your heart is like a chalkboard filled with writing. It’s covered in words and smudges. What do the words say? Now, erase those words; spray a cleaner on it and wipe away the smudge. And all of a sudden, it’s spotless. Oh, how I wish I could purify my heart that easily! But, I can’t. I cannot erase painful memories and the fears of letting others see the real me; I can’t wipe clean the scars that have toughened over the years; and I can’t break the chains that sometimes suffocate the life out of me.
But, God can. He can renew my heart in an instant (although we don’t normally see purification happen that fast in our human idea of time.). God has to work on us— He strips away layers like an onion, and every layer beneath has its own work to be done.
I remember recently when my spiritual director told me that God had to do some work on me, and that it’s going to hurt. But He always uses the most gentle means possible. And it’s true. The last few months are a testament to His gentleness and charity. He has really purified my heart in ways I couldn’t imagine, although He has asked some things of me that really hurt. Surrendering can be really painful. But, I know it’s necessary. I know that heart He holds so dearly in His hands has needed some work; and I know when He’s done with this big phase of operation, it’ll be ready to experience all life and love have to offer it. And I can’t wait for that day.
Is it time for you to let God do some pruning? Tell Him you’re scared, but know that He won’t do anything unnecessary, and He will give you what you need to endure it.