We returned from our fab UK trip to spring in Kelowna, we all hit the ground running while overcoming jet-lag. Not the easiest week but hoping that next week feels a little more normal… whatever that is!
We celebrated 25 years of Willow Park Church today. What a treat to welcome the Pastor who carried the vision to bring the church to Rutland. Pastor Herb, now 90, stood and shared with us from the very spot where he had once stood on dirt and declared a place of worship. Looking forward to celebrating at Pursuit tonight as 20 young people are baptized. God is good.
I am musing over the verse. ‘Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.’ Proverbs 4:23
When it comes to the Bible, we must be careful to not let familiarity cause complacency. ‘Guard your heart’ is one of those verses we all know and can easily slot into the category of romance and relationships, I believe it is much more than that.
It might help to understand what the heart represents in this verse. In the Old Testament the ‘heart’ is used hundreds of times, more than 200 times it deals with the thoughts, emotions, the wellsprings of life, those things that motivate and mold us. It is the core of us, our connecting part – our orientation to God and others. The home of dreams, desires and passions. Words we speak flow out of our hearts. The choices we make flow out of our hearts. In salvation, Christ takes our dead heart of stone and gives us a new heart of flesh. Guarding our hearts in this context means paying careful attention to our thoughts, our emotions, our desires, and our choices. It is about the wisdom of living according to God’s standards. King Solomon says it the wellspring of life, the source of everything. Our hearts overflow. We all know what can happen to plugged springs – where the flow has stopped. Water becomes toxic. Life is threatened. If your heart is unhealthy – it has an impact on everything else.
Could this be about being vulnerable to one another, but ultimately abandoning our hearts to Jesus?
I took responsibility for my own heart for too long which resulted in ensuring it was locked – therefore not broken. Self-protection ensuring I won’t get hurt, keeping people at arms length, not allowing a heart level relationship. Until I realized the more I guarded it, the more it isolated me.
It is simply not God’s will for us to be isolated, walled off, and invulnerable.
Guarding my heart is not about sparing me pain, but tending to the health of my soul.
We can often feel that vulnerability is what hurts our heart – could it be that by keeping our heart open and pure and being honest to ourselves, others and God that we set the ultimate guard in place? When we are vulnerable we are guarding through honesty, protecting ourselves with the garment of truth.
I thank God that Jesus didn’t guard his heart, but poured it out. Let’s live our lives outward, as painful as it often is.
‘To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.’
CS Lewis, The Four Loves.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Michelle xo