Reflections by Dot Cutter — February 2019

It was early January as I was putting away the last vestiges of Christmas and replacing outdoor flags with more generic winter motifs. Suddenly my eyes fell on the bright colors of our Valentine’s flags sliding off the shelf. It launched me on a short journey of reminiscing. For a child growing up in central New York, February, though cold & snowy, was a month filled with anticipation in school, following the long uneventful January. Preparations began early, first featuring Abraham Lincoln who was highlighted on the 12th as the president who began righting the wrongs of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation & led us through the Civil War. Then George Washington was honored on the 22nd as the nation’s first president following his successes as General of the Continental Army in our quest for independence from Great Britain. Tucked in between was Valentine’s Day on the 14th where classrooms were festooned with red hearts & crepe paper. All three celebrations were used to enhance & expand our learning experiences as we progressed through the grades but they also brightened our spirits.

That journey back in time quickened something in me, as a few days later the Lord began to speak of heart changes. Everywhere I looked I was encountering hearts. Valentine cards appeared in retail stores along with heart shaped decorations, heart shaped boxes of candy, balloons, sweaters, cake pans. All around me I felt deluged by heart messages cascading down in one form or another.

First He showed me a picture saying “change my heart”, but it wasn’t all in words. It began with a triangle – the medical symbol for change — then the word “my”, followed by a heart shape:

A book I began reading also focused on a significant heart change of the main character.

Our pastor spoke on the first few verses of Psalm 37, especially vs. 4 — all heart issues & the desires of our hearts. We get so caught up in the cares of the world & everyday living that the true Godly desires of our heart get relegated to the back burner with the flame turned down as well. Frequently we fail to realize what is happening until we are ice cold & as dry as a piece of desert tumbleweed. Jeremiah speaks frankly of this saying, “The heart is deceitful above all things.“(17:9) It is self-centered & keeps us separated from the heart of God. But God & His marvelous love! He begins by quickening something in our spirits. We cry out to Him & He answers. Indeed He did!! For a myriad of songs suddenly popped into my head, beginning with this one —

Change My Heart O God, Make it ever true, Change my heart O God, May I be like You.
You are the Potter, I am the clay, Mold me and make me, This is what I pray.
Change my heart O God, Make it ever true, Change my heart O God, May I be like You.

That single song sent an avalanche of worship songs & hymns coursing through my head for initially for hours, then days. Most were songs from years ago, but still spoke of the holiness, loveliness, majesty, & magnificence of God. They began to reawaken in me a deep desire that had been simmering on a back burner, longing to be rekindled into full flame. They spoke of Jesus’s love & in response my love for Him. In an instant things began to change. Another song came spontaneously —

When I look into Your holiness, when I gaze into your liveliness,
When all things that surround become shadows in the light of you.
When I found the joy of reaching Your heart.
When my will becomes enthroned in Your love.
When all things that surround become shadows in the light of You
I worship You, I worship You. The reason I live is to worship You
I worship You, I worship You. The reason I live is to worship You.

Could it be that the Lord is speaking to all of us in this hour? That His heart’s desire is for us to truly put Him first in our lives? To relegate to the shadows those things that command our greatest focus? Therein we will indeed find the true & lasting joy & contentment we seek, for truly it’s found only in Him.

Dot Cutter