Yesterday, we ended our journey together as we opened and stepped through the first red heart-shaped door:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Today we are standing at the bottom of another golden staircase looking up at the second door that leads those who mourn to a place of comfort.
As I sat in my secret place this morning with my Heavenly Father, soaking in the precious sweet fragrance of His Word, a weird thought came to mind – a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich! Yep! I would agree with you right now – a little weird – but I will share more about that a little later.
Back to our journey to the Heart of God, I flip over a few pages in my art journal to another red heart-shaped door. It looks just like the first door that I passed through. Standing on this glass floor, looking up towards the golden staircase, I feel another invitation whispering to me to come and open the door. Just like before there are ten steps to ascend.
As I stand there gazing up, I realized the depth of this new knowledge of my spiritual poverty and how I am part of the Kingdom of Heaven now. My heart is pounding once again; it feels like a floodgate is about to open with emotions of what God has done for me that I couldn’t do for myself. My sins have been paid for. I have been washed clean – the old identity tags have been removed and now I have just one tag hanging on me: “I am a Child of God’s!”
Oh yes, I am running up those stairs – two at a time now and reaching for the pearl knob on that red heart-shaped door and flying right through that door. There sits God with His arms wide open to me and I jump into His lap and just BAWL! Thanksgiving and praise are bubbling up inside of me. Then comes a release of emotions that are filled with comfort and peace that begin to well up in me flowing from me and I realized that I am surrounded in perfect peace wrapped in the arms of my Heavenly Poppa.
How could God love us that much? I had already known that He loved me so much that He sent His only son, Jesus that I might have eternal life. But the knowledge and emotions vigorously blended together, flooding me with things that I had never experienced before. Yep! Like a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich (AKA as PBGJ Sandwich). Weird! But hang in there with me.
This place of perfect peace, perfect love, and perfect joy is meant to savor and replenish my soul. It starts as a desire within me to worship God – to seek Him out like a fine treasure – to spend time getting to know Him. It is a starting point of worship and giving thanks for what God has done for me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Yes, there is no doubt within my heart that these two doors go together – like a good PBGJ sandwich!
Allow the transformation to take place by realizing that you have a clean slate – a new identity – a secret safe place to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and then learning to discern the will of God. What better place to grow in grace and love and mercy then with the teaching and training of God’s Holy Spirit. It is a place to learn how to use the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to you and then a place to surrender more and more of yourself to God each day.
Now to share about that PBGJ Sandwich:
My youngest brother, Tom has always been special to me. I was 14 years old when he was born. There are so many stories I could share about him – but today I will share about the PBGJ sandwich.
One day my mom was gone and I was “in charge” of Tom. He was about five years old and he asked me to make him a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich. So I went to the kitchen and took out the supplies to make his sandwich. I proceeded to spread the peanut butter on the two slices of bread and followed up with a spoonful of grape jelly to spread over the peanut butter. I cut the sandwich in half and brought it to the table for him.
That’s the way to make a PBGJ sandwich – right? No. Wrong.
As Tom bit into the sandwich and started to chew, he stops and makes an ugly face and spits it out. He puts the sandwich down and says, “That is not a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich!” Of course I disagreed with him. So I asked him, “So tell me, what is a PBGJ sandwich?”
This cute little guy gets up and takes my hand and said, “I’ll show you.” We walked back into the kitchen and Tom proceeded to show me how to make the sandwich:
First you need a small bowl and then you add 4 tablespoons of peanut butter into the bowl, followed with two tablespoons of grape jelly. Then you take a spoon and mix them vigorously together until it is creamy and the brown and purple colors are well blended together. Then you take a slice of bread and spread the mixture on that slice and then you put another slice of bread on top of it. Then you take a bite and savor the blended flavors together.
With this picture in mind this morning, I could see the realization of my spiritual poverty is an intellectual understanding of what God has done for me. Then the emotions flooding over my heart and soul – blending together and once both are vigorously well mixed together:
I can savor what God has done for me. Yes, I am part of the Kingdom of Heaven and I am in a place of comfort. Yes, I can now enjoy that secret safe place with my Heavenly Father.
Jesus sat before a crowd of people and shared with them how they could be happy right then – right there by doing those things that He spoke about.
We are happy when we do these things – Blessed are the poor in spirit who mourn. Blessed are we when we realize our helplessness – our emptiness. Blessed are we when we don’t hide these things under a blanket of self-sufficiency.
Today we end our journey sitting in the lap of God. He has a big lap that all His children can come and sit on. Enjoy the rest of your day envisioning what God has done for you. Enjoy that secret safe place with Him. You are always welcomed in the Father’s arms.
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for what you have done for me and for others. How precious we are to you. How loved we are by you. There is no safer place to be then wrapped in your loving, strong arms. Father, there are some people hurting out there today that need a tender touch from you. Poppa, open your arms wide to them so that they can run to you and be blessed in that place of comfort today. I love you Poppa. In Jesus Christ’s name, amen.
My Song: Jesus has promised to turn my mourning into dancing. Let him come and dance with you today and enjoy being wrapped in his loving arms.
A link to yesterday’s blog post:
Matthew 5:3-4: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (esv)
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (esv)
Ephesians 4:22-24: “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (esv)
Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (esv)
Psalm 30:11: You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, (nlt)