Tag Archives: happiness

The Dimension of the Heart

Did you know that there is a dimension to our heart?

I was reading my devotional this morning, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and she taught me something that I have never thought about before.  Here’s what she wrote in the point of view of Jesus:

“There are actually more than four dimensions in this world where you live.  In addition to the three dimensions of space and the one of time, there is the dimension of openness to My Presence.  This dimension transcends the others, giving you glimpses of heaven while you still reside on earth.  This was part of My original design for mankind.  Adam and Eve used to walk with Me in the garden, before heir expulsion from Eden.  I want you to walk with Me in the garden of your heart, where I have taken up permanent residence.”

Don’t worry if this seems to whoosh past over your head because I had to really think about it myself, too.  But think about it this way…

The dimensions of space–length (or height), width, and depth–are the ways in which we relate to tangible objects (anything that is composed of matter and can touch).  Example of dimensions of space: A sheet of paper is 8.5″ wide and 11″ long.  I can tell you that, and you can envision exactly in your head what that looks like.  In other words, we related using the dimensions of space.

But the dimension of the heart… This is different because it is the way in which we respond to everything that isn’t tangible.  To respond to something with the dimension of the heart requires faith that it even exists.  Whenever someone tells you that they are angry or sad, you can relate because you believe the emotion exists even though you can’t see the actual emotion that makes someone smile or frown.

You don’t see God but you have faith that He is there.  Even if you say, “God, I don’t believe in you anymore,” you still had to believe that He was there to here what you said.  Even if  you claim to not believe, you are still stating your relation to Him.

This is what Sarah is referring to when she says the “dimension of openness to His presence.”  She’s talking about the way that you can relate to God’s presence through faith.  The larger your faith, the larger your receptivity will be to God’s presence.

If you are having a hard time becoming aware of the presence of God, try looking at the size of your faith.  Ask yourself the question, “What makes my believing in the existence of happiness different than the existence of God’s presence in my life?”

Today, use the dimension of your heart.

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happiness is a receipt

What is happiness?  We see it all around us in movies, songs, TV, etc.  Although I haven’t counted, I bet there are millions of books that try to tell you the secret to being happy–whether it be a book about money, sex, beauty, success, or even religion.  Quotes say, “Happiness is not a destination; it’s a journey” and “life is what you make of it.”  Do we even know what these mean?

In my three Bibles of different translations, happy and/or happiness is not mentioned ONCE in the concordance.  So what is happiness?

Today I sit outside on the patio outside of my apartment.  It’s the end of February, and yet it is warm and sunny–a beautiful day.  All I feel, though, is empty of “happiness.”  Why?  Because I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve spent almost all of my life pursuing happiness, and I never even knew what the word meant.  Everything that I’ve done in my life now seems to be part of just some method–a “become a better person” scheme, a “how to be successful” plan, or a “you’ll have joy once you can wear size 2 jeans” state of mind.

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The most meaningful, joy-filled, and overwhelmingly challenge-filled thing that I have ever done is this:  being a camp counselor.

Every single day, I was challenged.  There were days when I hated it.  There were times when I just about lost it.  My temper would flare.  My patience would be gone, and tears would be on the brink of flooding the dam of my tear ducts.  But then, I would close my eyes.  I would breathe.  I would remember….God is love (1 John 4:8).

Those campers were not just 9 and 10 year-old girls.  They were the love of Christ Himself.  They were the embodiment of everything that Jesus calls us to be, to live for, and for what we should abandon our lives.

In all of my life, I have never loved anything more than the times I spent loving those precious girls.  Holding them tightly in my arms and rocking them back to look into their sweet faces, I would witness God’s great beauty.  “You are my precious angel,” I would say.  “I love you so much, but do you know who loves you even more?”  Their faces would crinkle to a look of contemplation, and I would tell them, “Jesus!  He is your best friend, and He loves you more than you could ever imagine!”

Even now, I wouldn’t trade anything for that summer I spent wiping away tears of homesickness, sitting on a toilet seat covered in deodorant, writing bedtime stories to read as their devotionals, conducting marriage ceremonies to tubes of chapstick, and paying 2 slices of gum for a 5 second massage.

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That is happiness.  That is living completely void of one’s own self and living solely by the love, the strength, and the grace that God gives.  We have to empty ourselves of what we value, pursue, and hope to receive and we must be filled constantly with the renewing and redeeming love that only Jesus gives.

Of this I am convinced:

True happiness is the receipt that we are given

when we have exchanged

our knowledge for His knowledge,

our strength for His strength,

our heart for His heart,

and have sold our life

–its desires, ambitions, and meanings–

for His life lived through us.