Have a heart

There are times in our lives when God speaks more insistently to our hearts than usual.

Those Holy Spirit whispers are words we need to pay attention to.

Our heart, as defined in Scripture, represents the core, essence of our being, the fabric of who we are and how we act, seat of our reason, courage, innermost feelings.

Recently, God has been showing me things about myself I would have preferred not to be aware of.

It all started with a devotional book I was reading that spoke of asking God to show us a picture of our heart.

This wasn’t asking for an anatomical representation of the fist-shaped, blood-pumping organ that lies roughly in the centre of our chest.

No. It was seeking greater knowledge about what makes us tick, how we act and react and what that indicates about our inner being.

So, I braved the request, “Lord, please show me a picture of my heart”…and He did.

ImageCourtesyofFreeDigitalPhotos.Net

What He revealed was an image of a crushed, fragile, papery heart.

As I prayed, God showed me that this image represented the fragility of my feelings, how easily bruised and wounded I can be if I allow certain emotions to hold sway.

Discouragement reign supreme. Disappointment rule. Despair ravage my hopes and dreams.

” Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” ~ Proverbs 4:23

His desire is for my heart to be crushed only with empathy and love for others, a willingness to burden-bear and intercede as His Spirit leads.

If I allow God to have my heart, He will guard it, make it strong and viable, rather than fragile and friable, soft and tender where it needs to be, as I open myself up to be a channel of blessing for others.

Our God does heart surgery as He transplants new hearts for old.

I was aware of the see-saw nature of my emotions and found much to blame them on:M.E fatigue, pain, lack of restful sleep, hormones, various issues etc.

God helped me see that a root of insecurity remains – the same root that made me want to control myself and my environment when all went haywire in my past.

All went haywire with my blogging yesterday too as I attempted to copy my last published post (ironically entitled ‘Brave’) into a folder and somehow ended up deleting the original as I updated it.

Don’t ask me how. Technology and I are barely on speaking terms at the moment – more like screaming (me) and silence (laptop).

Deep breaths… Deep breaths….Gasp…Deep breaths.

What did this teach me?

  • Back everything up, back everything up, back Everything up!!
  • It doesn’t help in the slightest to **@~##{{<< @ ~~ at the laptop (OK, just a little bit), keep pressing buttons and watch it all crash.
  • It does help to…take deep breaths, step away from it, make a soothing cup of chamomile tea (or a stiff drink) and (most importantly) ask for help from Someone. Who. Knows. What. To. Do.
  • When I’m, squeezed (pressed, stressed and tired)I fail to give off the aroma of Christ, emitting instead a bad stink of thoughts, words and deeds.
  • We don’t have to actively seek discouragement, disappointment or despair. They hang around waiting to drop on us and sabotage our days as soon as we drop our guards.

It also pays to remember that we are more than the sum of our parts or the efforts of our hands (said through gritted teeth and clenched jaw).

Neither is it really about tangible evidence in front of us or how congenial or otherwise our circumstances might be.

God’s word reminds us that He is our Security. Safe place. Anchor for the soul. Always.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that in a world caving in and falling apart.

Sometimes it takes a glimpse into another person’s pain to see how it overshadows your own.

Sometimes we lose what we value to gain a greater good.

My heart was setting too much store on achievement, approval, being visible when I feel invisible in this tiny sphere I move within.

But never invisible to God. 

The One who desires our highest good stands scalpel at the ready to carve away the dross we can do without and sculpt a heart fit for purpose.

God can take away a hard, stony heart and replace it with a tender, loving one..little by little..as it is surrendered to Him.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” ~ Ezekiel 36:26

A Prayer

Dear Father,
You alone know us inside out. Nothing about us surprises You.
It is easy to fool ourselves that everything is as it should be,
until You point a finger on the areas we need to pay attention to.
Then we wriggle and squirm under Your searchlight scrutiny.
For our souls lean more naturally into darkness than light.
But Yours is a laser-light to burn off the dross 
and promote healing.
You desire truth in the inner parts of our being.
You desire to change all that is displeasing to You.
Help us to co-operate and allow You to have Your way in us.
Melt our hard hearts.
Bind up the bruised and broken ones.
Wrap arms of love around the wounded ones.
Pour out Your grace and compassion.
Fill us with Your Spirit so that we can give out to others.
Remind us day by day how we are being changed from glory to glory
so that we do not lose heart if progress seems slow.
Thank you for the new heart and new life we have in Christ.
Help us to use it to live well for You.
Amen

Linking here with Tania Vaughan for Monday Ministry, where we seek to bring Sunday words and thoughts into the rest of the week.

To stay in touch you can join with me on Google Friend Connect, follow on Twitter or like my Facebook page.

May you be blessed with God’s light, grace and peace (and a co-operative, fully functioning PC) until we meet again.

10 thoughts on “Have a heart”

  1. Joy, I can relate so much to your words here. It's scary to ask God to work on our hearts…because He does!!! Oh, and I relate to frustrating computers too.

    1. Yes, it is a scary enterprise! Best not to ask for patience as that will be sorely tested…hmm…Frustrating computers are a bane just as having them is a boon. Though at times it's more a case of 'can't live with them and can't live without' feeling. So pleased this resonated with you, Eileen 🙂 xx

  2. Oh yes. Yes. Once again, Joy, you've taken words out of my mouth. I'm going to ask Him the same thing. First, I'm going to pray for courage because I know that my heart is sometimes a dark place.
    What keeps me going is that nothing is hidden from Him – not the grubbiest, nastiest most embarrassing corner of my life, and yet He loves me. How amazing is that?
    Thanks for another thought provoking post.

    1. It sounds like this has given you food for thought for a blog post, Helen! It is amazing how often we are on the same page. I fully agree with you that God's love and grace are overwhelming. Bless you 🙂 xx

  3. Joy, it is amazing how you can feel a kinship with people you do not know, but whenever I read your posts (and Helen's) it is always right on the mark. This week I am especially learning that my heart also sets far too much store in being visible and achieving when all I need is to be visible to God. Thank u for sharing this 🙂

    1. Thank you for offering us an opportunity to share and link up with you. It's a pleasure and an honour, Tania! That kinship is built up through shared thoughts and experiences. Really pleased to be friends with you, even if we never 'meet' for real. 🙂 xx

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