“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19.
We all know the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz movie. The poor unfortunate person who is made of metal and has no heart. But, as we have learned in our teaching series “Heartless,” there is more to the story than we may know. Permit me to recap for you the back story.
The Tin Man in the story used to be just like everyone else. He found a trade as a woodsman and he had found love and the woman he wanted to marry. But before the two could be married, they needed a place to live. So, the woodsman took on the challenge of building a new house. He set his entire focus on completing this project and began working at a feverish pace. The mother of the woman he loved asked the Wicked Witch of the West to cast a spell on his axe. The woodsman, using the cursed ax, lost his limbs one by one, his head and finally his heart. In each case, the tin smith in the town replaced each injured part with a metal substitute. But, he could not repair his heart.
The Tin Man now had no heart to love with and forgot how to love so he just kept chopping wood until he got stuck in the rain and rusted. He forgot about his project of building a house, and he no longer cared if he married the girl or not. His only thought was chopping down that next tree.
Even though this story is a product of someone’s imagination and then made into a movie, I believe we can see some of our story in this story. For example, when we meet Jesus and accept Him as Lord of our lives, we feel as if our life is complete and we are ready to take on the world. But quickly, our life is not how we pictured it to be. It becomes complicated and often hard. We get sidetracked and sideways. We get off course and we are not sure how or when exactly that happened. Instead of going straight to Oz (God), we go into the world to remedy our problems. Our problems cause us to think we need to we work faster, longer, harder, so we chop down trees in what we think is the name of Jesus. But the reality is that while we started off in love and focused, we all too soon lost sight and got rusted in the rain. We got stuck because we lost sight of who we were building the house for.
Many of us can identify in whole or in part to the story of the Tin Man. We take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Still we ask God to make us more intentional. We ask God that He stir in our hearts what He wants us to do. How do you want to transform us God? How do you want us as a people to move?
Because our fear is that we will limit or encapsulate God and thus not fulfill the purpose He has for each of us and for our church. Our fear is that we will just go through the motions and not realize that we were stuck and rusted out from doing too much in our life and discovering like the Tin Man, that we were simply cutting down trees for no reason. But then Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that we are especially designed for a purpose, and created to fulfill a plan God has specifically crafted for each one of us.
If you have attended the Heartless series and wondered whether you are in step with God’s plan for your life, I have a simple solution. Ask Him for direction and He will give it to you as He did to Paul. Acts 9:6 says, “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” When you do that, don’t just run off to chop down another tree. Sit there awhile and let your body and mind quiet down enough to listen to your heart. That is where God speaks. I believe God’s plan will become clear to you.
This why daily devotionals are so important. As you spend time daily in the Word and in praying in the spirit, the intuitive sense in you that God has placed in each one of us will get stronger and stronger. It will get to the point that certain desires just won’t go away. You get up with them, you go to bed with them, and you carry them around with you all day long. They are stronger than emotion and they do not fade with time. As you yield to and act on them, you’ll find the plan of God unfolding for your life, and you’ll find yourself with a sense of of peace and satisfaction in life that you didn’t think was possible. And you’ll become a different person. You will say and do things that you did not think were possible and discover you have a larger heart than you imagined.