The Heart Specialist
-- I made a decision a while back to follow up on a promise that was made to me years ago. That promise is found in the book of Ezekiel. God said He would give me a new heart and take away the stony heart. (Ezekiel 36:26) Yet, I have to be honest. For years, off and on, I had heard that wonderful Scripture. But somehow, my interpretation translated into a future happening -- a "down-the-road" kind of experience.
I felt that one day, I would wake up and discover that my heart was brand new. Then, spiritually speaking, my life would finally begin to take shape.
Many years passed and the promise seemed to become more and more elusive to me. The dream never seemed to manifest the way I believed it would. I tried everything from "confess and possess" to "believe and receive." I was always quick to remind myself what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, that I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away and behold all things have become new.
It seemed that the harder I would try to walk by faith and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, sooner or later that old stony heart would re-appear. After a while, I found myself questioning foundational things like, "Am I really saved? Or, "Is not my heart the symbol God uses to represent Himself in me. And if that is the case, I really don't like what I see."
So, I began an intensive search for what was causing my unhealthy heart condition. I decided to make an appointment with a well-known heart specialist (also known as, the Great Physician). When I called Him, He was very gracious to fit me into His already busy schedule. Although He never said it, I'm sure He recognized me to be a "code blue" in need of urgent care!
While under His examination, my Doctor helped me to recall a certain country song that I dearly loved. With steel guitar lazily whining in the background, I began to replay an almost forgotten lyric over and over in my mind. It went something like this...
The heart won't lie sometimes life gets in the way but this foolish heart still says, that the heart won't lie!
Suddenly, I became aware that my thoughts were being rerouted to the truth of God's Word. I heard these words reverberate within my Spirit!
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
What's that? You mean my heart does lie? So much for romantic love songs.
The reality was this. My heart "can" lie, no doubt about it. Talk about a wake-up call! I quickly began to discover some rather serious instruction regarding this important life pump. God seemed to be saying that you better look closely at this little ticker, because it has a tendency toward evil.
As Blaise Pascal said in a very thought provoking statement, "The heart has her reasons for which the mind knows nothing about."
Wow! I was beginning to recognize how easily my heart had become deceived. Proverbs sends up another warning when it says,
Guard your heart with all diligence because out of it flow the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
With a healthy dose of reality, I started to see that this little "command center" in the middle of my being was a direct indicator of just how my life was going. After all, this vital organ itself is also known to be the very seat of my affections:
Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).
After the series of tests were completed, I was relieved to see my cardiologist enter the room. With chart in hand, like a wise old country doctor, He sat down before me and looked intently over His glasses at me and did a little more probing.
"My dear, it is very simple. Where is your treasure? What is it you love most?" Then He asked me a very interesting question. "How familiar are you with the beloved disciple John? Do you recall the famous painting of the Last Supper? Did you notice what John was doing? He was leaning against the breast of Jesus, listening to the very heartbeat of the Lord."
"My beloved, I believe I have the cure for your heart problem. My prescribed remedy for you is this - Do what John did. Once in the morning and once in the evening, in the stillness and the quiet, lay your head against the Master's chest and allow His heartbeat to become your own. Get plenty of rest and don't forget to call Me in the morning. You will soon begin to experience an immediate improvement."
"And never forget - miracles often happen when we are unaware of them. One day you will begin to notice more of a Christ-likeness in all you think and do. Know then, that your new heart has been divinely transplanted as it beats in perfect rhythm with the Master's."
I was in deep thought as I walked out of the clinic that day. I happened to look down at the handwritten prescription I was given. There, my heart specialist wrote these words - "As often as you can, spend time in my Word and learn of Me. Always remember that my desire for you is to be fully persuaded that what I have promised - I am able to perform (Romans 4: 21).
I knew at that moment, no follow-up visits would be necessary. I was already beginning to feel better. After all, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22). The Great Physician had been accurate in His diagnosis!
As I continued down the sidewalk, I smiled to myself when I remembered that "in Him I live and move and have my being." The truth of God's Word had always been there for me. Even after all the years of disappointment, my "Promisekeeper" had proven Himself faithful by making good on His promise to me. It was quite a joyous moment when I realized there was no longer any need for concern, that my heart was going to be just fine!
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