W I T H E R E D

Withered heart 3
Withered – heart 3

As I looked back over my notes for this artwork, two words stood out “Sunday’s coming”. My thoughts went straight to my favourite Easter Friday sermon by Dr.Tony Campolo. “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming”. I have included the link below if you’d like to know what I’m talking about.

Withered is heart three, in this three heart series. My soul is stirred, and I am unsettled by thoughts that Sunday is where we “fill up” or “get our fill” before we go out into our week. I know for myself if I waited until Sunday to get my Jesus fill and then take that out into my week, it would leave my heart looking like this heart sooner than I would realise. It starts me questioning and wrestling with questions like, “am I taking my relationship with God seriously? Am I taking the battle between the principalities serious enough to armour up, daily? Those are super deep questions, so they may look more like, I’m a stuff up, I’m never going to get myself together, I’m not good enough and God can’t use someone who isn’t close enough to him. These are classic lies of the enemy. There is nothing new in his lies, and even our response to spending more time entertaining these thoughts gets in the way of leaning into God and seeing him and how he sees us. The distraction is real.

I have come to learn that you can’t believe that God is real without believing that the Devil is real too. They are like a pair of book ends and our lives are the pages of the books in-between. For some, there are many books and those books are full of many pages, for others, far too few. But in God’s big picture, regardless of the number, he knows the numbers of our days. I think this is where life, or our thinking can get messy. Do we worry far too much about the number of our days instead of “numbering our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom?” Psalm 90:12

As I painted the first heart titled Seeded Heart, the idea of the second heart titled Flourish developed, and as I painted Flourish I was challenged with how to maintain this kind of freshness and life in my heart and how this can look when I don’t maintain the level of nurturing that a health heart needs. What I started to see was what my heart was at risk of looking like if I waited for Sunday to fill it. I feel like I would be on life support all week if Sunday was my only day I nurtured my relationship with God. This is how I pictured a “Withered” heart, with plants that grew or started to grow and were not nurtured and so they wither. The seed of faith is planted by God and gets watered and nurtured and grows. If we are intentional in our relationship with God, it will grow into a flourishing, spirit filled garden with streams of living water flowing from it. But what if we don’t nurture the faith we have been gifted? Does it grow? What do you desire your heart, your relationship with God to look like? Is it growing into a lush garden with streams of living water flowing from it into your community or is it wilting and are bits falling off, the stream of living water dripping with the risk of turning to dust? How have you neglected your relationship with the father?

Last week in church Graham Rogers spoke about it’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. I love it when I am listening to a message and it affirms something I was processing the week before. Except Graham threw out a different challenge. It’s Sunday, but Monday’s coming. It’s Sunday when we meet together in the house of God with other believers, but Monday’s coming when we go out into the community and meet with people, our neighbours, our families, our work peeps, and the same people we see every time we go into the some stores. Sunday isn’t recharge day, it is the model for how to feed ourselves the rest of the week. Reflecting on what you have heard; starting a conversation with God and/or a mentor to gain greater understanding and application of what God is revealing to you; the song lyrics; reading God’s word; seeking ways to feed, nurture and grow our faith in the days between Sundays. Spending time speaking with God and seeking deeper understanding of who Jesus is and putting action and feet to what we learn about how he sees us and how he sees others, and learning how to see him in the juxtaposition of good and evil in our life’s journey. I like to think this is where joy lives.

What do you do throughout each day that nurtures, sustains and grows your faith, or is your heart and your relationship with God looking a little worse for wear? How does your heart condition reflect Jesus to those you meet?

It’s Friday but Sundays coming. Dr: Tony Campolo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frfZQVEEOwY