Phlebotomy and The Secret Places

What do you do when you get a shot or blood work done? Do you look away and sing Beyonce and play candy crush and pretend you are ANYWHERE else but in that Phlebotomist's chair?

In my pregnancies, I got SO MANY labs. It never got easier for me. I would force small talk on the poor blood drawer because I was DESPERATE to avoid in my head what my body needed. And you bet I never looked. Suddenly the screensaver on the computer became the most fascinating thing my eyes ever beheld. And you bet I got a Panera Mango Smoothie after that because lollipops are old school. I know, I'm such a wimp. I can only imagine how my friends with diabetes do it. Ya'll are seriously my heroes. 

I can't stand to look many places where blood is being drawn, even if that pain is causing great Gospel things to happen in my life. These blood draws, these trials, these tests. Tests of my faith. Tests for my good, to give evidence to the truth that my blood is really now covered in Jesus' blood. I am redeemed! I am free! And now? I am changing.

But the point is this, we have to look. What area of your life are you avoiding? What area is off the table for God to change because you are too afraid to go there? There is a point where it is unavoidable, where we have to look. God just has to lead us there, because we would never go on our own accord. He often focuses our attention by taking away all the other places our eyes could wander. 

He gave me a viser and binoculars when I was far away and a microscope when I was close up. God pointed me to my own own heart. He lovingly guided me to take a look at my secret places.

Over the past several weeks, I've lost many things, things that buffer me from the worst parts myself. These are common first world reliances: wallet, phone, car, health. When I have my wallet, I can rely on my money to buy me the comforts of groceries and coffee and babysitting. When I have my car, I can drive to the places that keep my kids entertained for a few hours. When I have my health, I can rely on my abnormally high charisma, my zest for life. When I have my phone, I can escape to all the people doing all the things all the time.

You see at first, when I recognized what was going on, I thought, Oh fantastic! Now God is for sure working on my marriage and motherhood, as that is what is still left when all the other factors are taken away. And certainly He did, in fantastic ways. There is a peace about my home that has been lacking for a little while.

But really it is deeper.

It is the mouse poop and graham cracker infestations in my heart that He wants to work. The crumbs still lingering on our inward storage systems. You see, the Gospel is power. The saving work of Jesus Christ? It is a one and done deal for our redemption, yes. But our sanctification? The gospel of Jesus Christ is for me NOW. It is working to change me NOW. My heart is God's. And He will have it for His glory. So He will change me. And that will be hard. Because I'm going to have to look. 

And look again. And look harder. 

I will have to ask God to show me my sin in the secret places. 

And I will find abundant evidence to the power of Jesus Christ over those same places. 

And I will find the resources I need to change by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Bible calls this the circumcision of the heart. God will change us, everywhere, starting on the inside and working His way out. It will be tender and personal. And this cutting away in the secret, this refining, allows us to love the Lord with reckless abandon. Nothing will stand between us and our beloved. 

And the Lord you God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
— Deuteronomy 30:6

I'm so thankful for the past several months of spiritual blood tests. I'm grateful to have seen my heart's sinful condition, and the power of the Jesus Christ to not only declare me righteous past, present, and future, but change my heart as well. He has taken away my heart's barriers and distractions and reclaimed my heart for Himself. He is helping me to love Him with everything in me, and with a love that is beyond me. 

He is causing me to live. 

So I say, Amen Lord! Leave no table unturned. Thank you for helping me to look, and to find your simultaneous covering and changing love. And help me to look at my sin when it is easier to look elsewhere. Because I know now, I am a new creation! The old has passed and the new has come, starting in the most secret place, and what I pray will be also my most holy place.