Penchant for Pockets

When I was a little girl my mother sewed most of my clothes. She was a good seamstress, and I liked what she made for me. I did not care about color or style when I was little, as long as there were pockets. Not just in pants or coats, as was typical at that time, but in ALL of my clothes-shirts, dresses, skirts, and robes. I just loved pockets!

Pockets (also purses, little sacks, and zipper pouches) were like gold to me. They are practical, giving you a place to squirrel away spare change, cough drops, gum, maybe a hair band or comb. Now as an adult, pockets are useful for keys, cell phones and a debit card.

In reverie, I smiled as I remembered my homemade clothing made with love. Then I began to think more broadly about pockets in my life. I still prefer articles of clothing with plenty of places to stash things, but what of the spiritual principle here? Is there an application to my spiritual life?

I think it is likely that the heart is a type of pocket. The question is do I tuck away things that should not be in there, do I try to hide things from God that are not holy or beneficial to my growth? Or do I allow Him to see into my heart and show me what needs to come out of that pocket, or conversely, what needs to be encouraged to reside there? He also shows us godly dreams and hopes in our hearts that we may not even realize are there. Things in which we may want to serve God, and things we will do in some capacity. “The LORD is near to all who call on him, who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him..” (Psalm 145:18&19a, ESV)

We tend to react in fear when we think about buried things being revealed in us. But we needn’t do so-no one loves us like God loves us. (There is a big difference between feeling condemnation and conviction during the excavation process.) It’s always better to stay open to the Holy Spirit and receive the quality pocket tools needed to navigate this life.

Things that are stuffed down inside limit our ability to use those tools. Hurts, willfulness to have our own way and not admit it, and little indulgences that need to be acknowledged, cleaned out and healed. God wants us to be healthy and free, so He puts His finger on things that rob us.

The apostle Peter is a good example of this. He was outspoken, brash, and probably lacking in social graces. Peter also tended to think more highly of himself than was good for him, and I think he tended to rely on his own strength. So in John 13 when Jesus tells the disciples they ”cannot follow now” where He is going, Peter questions why not, and states emphatically that he would “…lay down my life for you.” Peter did not clearly see that his attitudes and motives were out of order here, so Jesus reveals what would happen so Peter could see it. “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.” (verses 36-38 ESV)

Peter needed to be challenged, to see what was really in his heart so that he could be changed and used in the forming of the Christian church. As painful as this was for Peter, (and I cringe every time I think of this passage), it had to be done. God still reveals things to us, both painful and amazing, to glorify Himself. A pocket of Peter’s heart became known to Peter through the great grace of Jesus.

I don’t want to love pockets if it means I love the treasures in them more than God. Or if I am attempting to hide something away from Him, were that even possible. I want the secret places of my heart to be full of light, and full of purpose, to give glory to God alone!

So let’s be courageous together. Look and see what the Lord shows you is there. It’s life to us. Allow Him to blow out the pocket lint, to review the treasures, and love Him even more through the examination.

“He is the Source of all illumination. The light of day, the light of earthly happiness, the light of reason, the light of conscience, the light of revelation all are from Him.”- W. Gilson Humphrey, scholar, Trinity College-Cambridge

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