January 29, 2011
Over the past few weeks I’ve been presented with Phil 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “ (NIV)
Guard your hearts…talk about something I’ve tried to manage on my own! Although I’ve recognized the challenge of truly opening myself to others, I’ve spent so many years guarding my heart…I’ve had the proverbial duct tape wound so tightly…layers upon layers…in many ways believing that if I distanced myself enough, whatever the circumstances, my heart could not be damaged.
But that’s not true, is it? Life still happens. Damage still occurs – before you realize it, plaque has built up and you’re at the mercy of a professional. Imagine…if the doctor said, “You need heart surgery – your arteries are filled with plaque – medication isn’t an option – you won’t live without surgery.”
Would you say, “No – thanks, though – I can repair the damage on my own.” DOUBTFUL! Most likely you’d want to schedule surgery as soon as possible.
Why is it do you suppose, it’s so easy to put our lives in the hands of a surgeon? An acquaintance – at best? We do a little research and rely COMPLETELY on credentials – we literally put our life in the hands of the surgeon and barely think twice about it. Yet we avoid relying on God at ridiculous costs.
But what about God? The REAL surgeon? The One who has a PERFECT track record? The One who can repair the worst of damage? He alone can clean the mucky plaque of life and never leave a scar – if we let Him.
So why hold back? Oh, is it because we have to be an active and willing participant? It’s not as if He’s going to knock us out, perform His work, and then we wake up good as new. No…we have to be awake – fully conscious for this one.
And so why Phil 4:6-7? Duct tape is great for many things, but when it comes to guarding your heart? Not so much. Have you ever tried to remove duct tape? After years and layers upon layers, it’s a sticky mess. And all the damage? Still there! Sure, I may have achieved the objective of not letting anyone close enough to hurt me, but that’s not really true either…I’d only been hurting myself.
As I’ve been digging my spiritual well, I’ve discovered the only way I’ll be able to open myself to others is to completely open myself to God. I have to hand over my sticky plaque-filled heart and let Him do what He does best: Love me, clean away the plaque of life’s hurts and get out there to do what He’s called us all to do – love others. Sure, heartaches will happen, but what about the joy that comes too? Besides, God assures me He works all things for my good – even all that mucky plaque…
I don’t need to be anxious about anything – I’m in great hands! I don’t need the proverbial duct tape – He will guard my heart for me. I just need a regular check-up with Him – through prayer and petition in every situation, He will keep me in perfect health!