As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. – Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)
This Proverb holds a powerful truth that I think many of us do not realize; our hearts are not hidden. Walls are useless, masks are pointless, and pretending will only get you so far. Those things you are holding on to so tightly have a greater impact than you may realize.
It has been far too long since I’ve posted anything, and I apologize for that. School was busy, and Christmas break has not been lacking for entertainment options. I’ve attempted to sit down and write several times, but I was having trouble. Maybe I’m too emotionally tied to the words I scribble down. If my writing doesn’t reflect a message I am passionate about or feel that God has put on my heart, then I have a hard time seeing it through to the end. Being open and honest about what is on my heart is not always easy to do. I have a tendency to try and wait things out until a message I am comfortable sharing finds its way into my heart. I believe that is what I have been struggling with recently, because the things that are burdening my heart are things I don’t necessarily want to write about. A dear friend of mine once told me, “God often pushes us to do things we don’t feel we are ready to do.” So here I am sitting on my bed the very last day of 2016. I am laying down my own filter and instead writing out every quote, every verse, every sentence I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to.
Before I get to the point, can I ask you a question? How is your heart?
“Fine.” You say?
Don’t brush over it so quickly. Take time to let the weight of the words truly sink in. Prayerfully consider what this question means. There is much more to it than meets the eye. When the Bible talks about the heart, it typically isn’t referring to the blood pumping organ inside your chest. It has more to do with your soul, the very center of who you are. When I ask how your heart is, what I’m asking is essentially the same as, “how are you?” It isn’t just a formality though, When I ask how your heart is I truly want to know how you are doing. What are your struggles… your doubts… your worries? Is there something that keeps you awake at night or a reason for your tears? Are you stressed? Are you anxious? Is there a burden on your shoulders that is causing confusion, panic, or exhaustion?
Let me ask you one more time, and this time be honest, “how is your heart?”
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. – Matthew 5:3 (NLT)
It’s good to acknowledge we struggle, but it is not good to live chained to that struggle. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the things on our heart, but we must remind ourselves that our problems are not the end, and that we have victory through Jesus Christ!
Having asked how your heart is, it is only fair if I share with you the state of my heart… I knew I would have trouble when I got to this point… I keep stopping to watch the place-marker blink… You see, my problems seem to stay the same, and I am bothered by that. I still cry over things that happened months ago, and I still struggle with the same things I struggled with years ago. The context may be different, but the issues remain the same… I get frustrated because I feel like I should be over it all by now. I feel like my heart should be okay by now, and I have a hard time realizing that it may actually be better when it’s broken… even if the brokenness is the same.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
There are two pieces of encouragement I would like to share with you if I may.
- We all have a thorn. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul mentions having a thorn, something that stuck with him and he consistently struggled with. He said it was given to him “to keep [him] from becoming conceited.” A thorn is never a sin, but it could be a temptation, a physical impairment, a circumstance, etc. It is easy to look at these thorns as something negative, (Paul said he begged for his to be taken away) but I believe that God gives and/or allows us to have these things for a purpose. If we are fully relying on God, our weakness can only make us stronger. Not through our own strength, but through God stepping in with His.
- In a fallen world, love comes with a price. Christ’s love for us led Him to the cross. We may experience this in a similar, but not-at-all-comparable sort of way. We feel the pain when someone we love dies, hurts us, or walks out of our lives. Love is not meant to be temporary, but it is often treated that way. Sometimes this non-permanence is unnecessary, but sometimes it cannot be helped. The good news: this is not our home. Let the pain be a reminder of that. Don’t become bitter or resentful, but instead be filled with hope for the future. In heaven we will experience love to the fullest extent and there will not be hurt or disappointment!
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4 (NIV)
So it seems I have come to the end of another post. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Before I wrap it up entirely though, I would like to go back to that opening verse, Proverbs 27:19:
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
The way we live our life reflects what our heart is full of… treat your heart with care. You are a precious, irreplaceable child of God. God’s word is the source of life, why waste your time chasing things that don’t satisfy? What you put into your heart and those things that you dwell on… they impact the person that you become. It is okay to ask for help. God gave us the body of Christ, the church, for a purpose. Accept God’s grace and allow it to overflow and impact you; not just impact the way that you are, but also the way you see others. Never forget that what is reflected through the lives of those around you is directly related to the burdens and struggles that are weighing on their own heart.