Emily began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20's, and recently released her first book, Yielded in His Hands (eLectio Publishing). She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to freelance write. Believing she has been forgiven of much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power. If you would like to connect with Emily or learn more about her book, you can visit her website: www.emilyrosemassey.com
My little sister just celebrated her seventeenth birthday. Considering I used to change her diapers and clean Cheerios out of her baby rolls, this statement definitely makes me feel old.
Like most girls, she seemed to always go through phases of collecting things. Several years ago, she went through a snowglobe phase, so for her birthday, my husband and I bought her one with a cross on the inside of it. I wanted this gift to stand out among the rest of her 'globe collection, so I decided to give it a personalized touch with an engraved message from me. Engraving that message will last much longer than if I would have written on a card to her.
This special memory reminds me of a scripture in Proverbs that has been on my mind lately.
"Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3 AMP)
The Hebrew word for "write" is katab which means "to write, engrave (on stone tablets)" (The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew-Aramaic Dictionary, pg 3773).
God wants us to write or engrave His mercy and kindness upon our hearts so that they will last the test of time just like that message that is engraved upon my sister's snowglobe.
How do we do that?
Well, I believe it is work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the Amplified Version of the Bible, Proverbs 3:3 tells us that we must "shut out all hatred and selfishness" before we can allow mercy and kindness to be imprinted upon our heart.
Because of the fall of Adam, we are born selfish. We are not prone to God's mercy nor kindness, so those traits from our Heavenly Father are something we learn to develop over time spending time with Him.
Studying His Word and fellowshipping with Him in prayer are two wonderful ways we can cultivate a merciful and kind heart towards ourselves and towards others.
Lately, as a new mom, I have struggled with finding time for those two things. I used to spend hours alone with the Lord during my quiet time. My fellow moms out there can attest to the rarity of quiet when we have children to raise. Also, being a stay-at-home mom, I am not given as many opportunities for interaction with people as I did when I worked outside of the home.
Understanding that I am in a new season, I can appreciate the time that I can spend with the Lord, no matter if it is short increments during nap-time or in the middle of the night. I can also look for other ways to encourage people or witness to the people God has surrounded me with, starting with my husband and son. The idea is to stay stirred up with a passion for God.
Although my role has changed, I do realize that the time sown in years past have not vanished or have gone in vain. The Lord engraved messages upon my heart during those years and they are not going anywhere.
Kindess, mercy, love, faithfulness, joy (and pretty much all of the fruit of the Spirit) are all universal engravings upon a disciple of Christ's heart. In addition to those traits, I believe there are specific messages that the Lord has written within us that comes alive in us when we are given a chance to release it, whether that is through prayer or giving an encouraging word to someone. The Bible tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth will speak it clearly (Luke 6:45b).
I experienced that Sunday night at church when I was asked to pray for this generation.
Remember how I said I was struggling with my time with the Lord?
Most people who haven't had the abundance of fellowship with God would be left speechless, and I didn't think I would have the words to say in front of our congregation.
But God filled my mouth with the words He has engraved upon my heart over the last few years regarding prodigals and the identity crisis this generation is facing.
I surrendered my mind and mouth to the Lord in that moment and He spoke through me. It was so powerful. Scripture was just coming to the surface and declarations were released as I prayed with the desire to let God use me in that moment.
It was freeing.
It was exhilerating.
It was a reminder to me that the messages the Lord has impressed upon my heart have not disappeared. They are still as fresh as the day they were written in those hours of prayer and seeking the Lord with a holy passion and fervor.
Those passionate prayers burn within me still and I'm grateful to be able to share with this generation in a couple weeks at a girls' conference where I have been asked to speak.
What messages has God engraved upon your heart?
They are meant to be released.
Don't let condemnation keep your mouth from letting them out.
God has written them on your heart as a reminder to you and as a declaration to the world.
Be His voice to today.
He wants to use you to help Him engrave His mercy and kindness upon someone else's heart that will stand the test of time.