O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

Psalm 139:1 NLT

The thought of any person knowing everything about me does not excite or thrill my soul. I am easily embarrassed at my myriad of shortcomings.  And I certainly do not like to have them pointed out. Yet there is something comforting about David praising the Lord for knowing everything about him, even down into the deep recesses of his heart.  And there is something just as comforting when I praise the Lord for knowing me fully, shortcomings and all.

My life has been filled with missed timing, painfully poor choices, a temper (and oh WHAT a temper!) and trying to hide from it all. I’ve always wanted to be perfectly put together, an outward appearance that would make up for all the skeletons in my closet.  To be without flaws.  Yet nothing could mask my heart, even though I thought nothing, and no one, could protect my heart – but me.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23

I’ve continually read that verse so out of context, with much misunderstanding.  Guarding my heart is not about building a wall around it to keep others out.  It’s not about picking and choosing who to let in. It’s not about pretending perfect. Truth be told, all that really does is just keeps one trapped inside, hardened and pretending still. Guarding your heart means to listen to the wisdom of The Word and live by it.  It is finding freedom to be fully known right where you are, as you are, for who you are by The One who Created you.  To hear Christ say, “Follow me,” and abandon self, pride and all, to follow.

My identity is not found in all that muck and mire.  My identity comes from and through Christ.  His cross tells me HE is enough for me, for my shortcomings, my sins.  HIS blood covers me. He is

… the author and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 NASB

So, in this new year, 2017, my desire is to abide in Christ, to remain in Him.  To be fruitful because I am grafted into The Vine, not hidden behind false perfection. Giving, and receiving, grace, mercy, love, gentleness, etc., as His Holy Spirit grows and changes me to be more and more like Him.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

John 15:4 NASB