Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. – Psalm 51:10 (NCV)
What is a pure heart like? Do you have a pure heart? How can you receive a pure heart? Why does the psalm writer need to ask God to make his “spirit right again”? Do you ever need to ask this? Do you ask for such a thing when you need it?
I have heard a story a couple of times that goes something like this:
A farmer in the Midwest once put out an ad for a farmhand. He had a couple of people who were interested, but they did not seem well suited for what he needed. After a couple of months another man answered his ad. This man had abundant experience and excellent references. However he ended the interview in an odd way telling the farmer he could count on him, because he could sleep during storms. The farmer was confused by the statement but was so impressed by the man’s credentials that he hired him.
After a while, late one night, a fierce storm came bearing down upon the farm. It was shortly past midnight when the farmer arose in a panic. He got dressed and went outside to try to secure everything before the storm caused severe damage. First he checked the barn. The doors were closed, the shutters were locked, and the animals were all tethered and safe. He checked the hay, but it was secure and covered with tarps. He checked the springhouse, the storage shed, the tractors and the trucks. Everything was secured. He kept running around to make sure that he didn’t miss a thing, but alas it seemed as though everything was taken care of. Finally he went into the bunkhouse and saw the farmhand sleeping soundly. It was then he remembered what the man had said during the interview, “I can sleep during storms.” The farmer thought to himself, “Yes, he is at peace and has done everything well. He can sleep during storms.”
A pure heart and a right spirit prepare us for whatever arrives, and can help those around us when the storms of life inevitably come up. There is a peace that surpasses all understanding available to all within the gift of grace that is Jesus Christ. Today pray for a pure heart and a right spirit and perhaps we will also be people who can sleep during storms confident in ourselves and in our God.