Page 160 was another slower paced day filled with meetings, writing, and maintenance research followed by a family hike at Potato Creek State Park. I’m trying to keep a summer cold and/or sinus infection from taking over but I’m not real sure I’m winning that battle. Anyhow, trying to gather my thoughts to write today’s page so I can turn in early and try to sleep off some of this mental fog that I’m in.
Part of my writing today was a section in my current book project about the kingdom of heaven being a home of innocence. In the devotional, I wrote that I believe nowhere in history is the loss of innocence more vividly portrayed than in the account of Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden. Until they disobeyed God and had their eyes opened to the knowledge of good and evil, they had lived in complete innocence before God and before each other. We all probably know things about certain situations and/or people that we wish we didn’t know. Prior to certain knowledge, we could interact with people more freely — with an innocence that didn’t feel the need to protect ourselves or them. When Jesus called the children to Himself, He told the disciples to not hinder them from coming “for such is the kingdom of heaven”. Jesus also taught that unless we repent, or change, and become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Innocence is a tough thing to reclaim because we can never “unsee” what we allow our eyes to look upon, we can never “unhear” what we allow our ears to listen to, we can never “unthink” what we allow our mind to dwell on. One of my greatest struggles in life is a mind that traps the words that people have spoken to, and about, me that have been perceived as harsh and unkind. They become a hindrance, or a stumbling block, to the innocence needed to restore a relationship. I’ve wrestled in countless hours of prayer over a mind that recalls exact words of being fired from ministry, of being rejected, of being unqualified, of being not enough, of being a whole list of other things that make me feel inadequate in nearly every situation. Yet in the midst of all that, God continues to give me work to do for Him — to connect me with new people where the innocence between us allows for effective relationships and productive ministry. He also continues to provide healing in His way and timing for the words that have wounded. And in the midst of a writing project He reminds me that I am headed toward a home of innocence as all guilt is washed away by the blood of Jesus.
I pray that you and I would be wise about all that is good and innocent of all that is evil. I pray that we would be careful to protect the innocence of others. I pray that we would understand the things we need to repent of in order to become more like the little children Jesus says we need to become like in order to enter His kingdom. I pray that we would pursue an innocent life even through the midst of pain and heartache. I pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the home we are headed toward.