We all have different answers:
- the security of your husband’s arms
- a reassuring phone call from your parents
- the affection or accomplishments of your kids
- shopping for something new or pretty
- a warm chocolate chip cookie (or three)
- Facebook friends or computer games
As long as it isn’t illegal or immoral, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying these pleasures … UNLESS … they take on a higher value than they should. When something or someone becomes the center of our world, it morphs into an idol. Has anything or anyone taken the preeminent place God wants to have in your life?
Here’s a simple test: which would be harder to live without today … your cell phone or your Bible?
Romans 1:25 warns us of our idol-making tendencies:
“… they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator …”
In Chapter 7 of The Cry of the Hidden Heart, “A New Home,” we hitch a ride with Abram and Sarai as they leave their hometown, Ur, for the great unknown. In Genesis 11:27-32, God called them to do one of the hardest things for any of us to do: leave home.
God wanted Abram’s and Sarai’s whole hearts, their undivided attention, and knew He wasn’t going to get it in Ur, the idol headquarters of the day. This week we hear again from our, Ruth Reynolds, a young bride and new mom, who is on the Hidden Heart journey for the first time. Can you relate to her reflections and struggles?
Change is hard. Just ask my one-year old daughter.
Only a short year ago, she enjoyed all the comforts of the womb: constant access to nourishment, close to mom at all times, and no need for clothing or diaper changes. It’s been a slow, constant adjustment: waiting for food, learning to sleep by herself, and enduring her limbs and head being poked through small holes. If only she knew how much change she brought into my life!
God calls us to a journey of change and adjustment, too. He wants us to leave the immaturity of living for self to find “rest in the shadow of the Almighty” and make Him our “refuge and fortress.” (Psalm 91:1-2) This requires packing lightly; no idols allowed!
What does it look like for God to be my home – my refuge in the day-to-day details of life? When my preferences knock up against my husband’s, is there room for both of us under the shadow of His wings?
Now that I’m home alone with our baby – the life I dreamed of for years – amid the blessings are new dilemmas that are revealing my idol-prone heart. Like, when my husband fails to see how hard I work to keep the house clean or see the tough decision I must make between folding the laundry or taking a shower: what does it look like for God to be my rest?
It seems all too easy to nod my head in agreement with Scripture, yet still find my heart confused. How do I feel joy in the midst of experiencing disillusionment and fatigue? My husband doesn’t always act the way I expect. Now, I’m starting to realize I don’t act or feel the way I expect myself to either.
Lord, I need your help! Incline my heart towards you. Help me to see Your Big Picture – how You are leading me out of independence and idolatry. Keep my eyes on the destination: making Jesus’ love and power my heart’s home. Help me to find peace in seeing my husband as he truly is so I know how to pray. Open my heart to learn to love like you love. Help me to see the idols I’ve hidden in my travel bag! Help me desire You as my home sweet home.
Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for He is Your Lord. Ps. 45:10-11.
~ Ruth Reynolds
Everyone is invited to take part in our journey through The Cry of the Hidden Heart here on the Hidden Heart blog. Have you ever put your husband on a pedestal (made your husband a God-substitute) and then been completely frustrated when he didn’t live up to your ideals? Feel free to share your reflections on this question and blog post in the comment section below!