Down and Dirty: When God Looks At Your Heart

Woman with broken heart.

You’re no stranger to TMI here on Predatory Lies. I subscribe to the belief that if God is teaching me something, no matter how painful or humbling, there’s likely someone else in the world who’d like to hear the lesson without learning it the hard(est) way.

Just this week, the Holy Spirit took what began as self-pity and legitimate hurt, and turned it into a lesson about my own pride and the state of my heart before Him.

No matter how I control my actions and words, no matter the “holy” impression I give to others, or how “justified” my feelings, I am responsible for a heart that loves God exclusively and pursues His own.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

I love how He speaks to us, that he’s faithful to continue speaking and teaching and admonishing and explaining even when I get it wrong over and over and over.

My husband has been working maddening hours lately and we’re approaching a six-week training stint where he will be in another state. We’ve had recent weeks when he hasn’t come home at all due to overnight training. So, when we’d just sacrificed another weekend, I was actually looking forward to Monday evening, but he didn’t get home until almost nine. As he debriefed me on his day, he mentioned that the commander had just added a leadership development event to the calendar and he was going to be gone overnight on my birthday the following week.

Tears. Water works. I complained and groused until he was frustrated too. We did finally get over it, I pulled myself together and we went to bed. Then I erupted again. This time, I took it to the Lord alone while my hubby snored. For an hour I cried to God, “I’m so tired of this. I miss him. I feel like I and our coming baby are forced into second place to the Army. I feel alone and hurt. Why God? And what about our baby? What if he’s too busy to enjoy her?”

Additionally, I felt terrible for making my husband feel bad, for complaining about something he couldn’t control and making a crappy situation even worse for him.

Finally, I went to bed—cried out. The next morning, as I sat to do my quiet time, the Holy Spirit flooded me with verses about complaining. Phil. 2:14 came to mind. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” He pointed out that even though I hadn’t yelled at my husband or sinned in my words or actions and my hurt was valid—my heart was not right before God. God sees the heart. And my grumbling and complaining did not bring him honor or glory.

Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth AND THE THOUGHTS OF MY HEART be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

Our Father is just as interested in the thoughts of my heart as He is in my words and actions.

If you’re brutally honest, what would God say about your heart right now?

How to Have A Happy Heart

love-tree-1077047-mI’d been at my new editing job for less than a week, and already I’d offended someone. No matter that I’d prayed over every single article, prayed for my attitude, humility, comments and thoughts–still, somehow I’d allowed an author to feel as if her work wasn’t good enough. It was an accident! I want so much to honor the writers I edit.

A brief email. She wasn’t rude, but I could read between the lines. I’d hurt her feelings, maybe overstepped my bounds with the changes I’d made to her article.

It took a few hours, a few emails; finally we seemed to resolve the issue. Surely, I could carry on with my evening–just let it go. But my heart was still stuck in my feet. I hate to let someone down. I hate to hurt someone’s feelings. Back to the computer, I kept reading, kept typing, kept working.

Ding! A new email, but I was hesitant to check it. Bravely, I clicked through to a message from another author. She wrote, “Hi Abby, Rough day? Feel free to do anything you want [when you edit my articles]. (They are His articles-not mine!) Rewrite, edit, change, etc.”

My spirits rose. As I whispered a prayer of thanks. Proverbs 12:25 came to mind, “Anxiety in the heart weighs a man down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Whose heart can you buoy with a good word today?

Broken, The Healer and Me

She had a hole in her heart and an ugly gash on her leg. I watched her writhe in pain for a few minutes, too stunned by what she had done to herself to respond. But she laughed, at least she tried to. I was revolted. It was her own fault she was in this mess. If she’d only followed the rules, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.

Broken’s maniacal humor came out in coughing gasps, she was nearing death.

“I’m fine!” She screamed at me. “I’m fine, I’m happy and I don’t need you to tell me what’s wrong with me.”

But then her heart whimpered, barely discernible above the boisterous, the callous facade.

“I’m Broken,” Heart sobbed. “So broken and tired and I’m dying here. Can’t you see? Do something, please.”

I did see. Crusty blood had formed around the wound in chest. It was bleeding less than her leg, less obvious as she glared at me. But that leg. It was disgusting. I could barely lift my eyes to see it. Her thigh festered and oozed, flies were attracted. It made me sick.

“Please, please help me. I’m dying,” Heart continued to plead, her voice weakening with every effort. “Can you take me to the Healer?”

“I can’t focus to help you with that ugly leg wound in the way,” I replied. “You’ll have to fix that first, then perhaps I can carry you to the Healer. You know, if you’d just followed the rules you wouldn’t be here.” I tore a page from my manual of rules. “Let me help you cover that first, clean you up a bit, then perhaps the Healer will see you. As it is, you’ll make Him sick.”

Broken screamed again, “I don’t want your rules!”

“But they’re good for you,” I tried to argue. “Besides, this way you’ll be presentable to the Healer.”

“Step back.” A voice so calm, so forceful, so real, it shook the ground. Light blazed around us, so tangible that the manual in my hands began to smolder.

“Your rules will do no good here. Broken will die while you fuss over a bleeding peripheral wound. Why have you not brought her to me by now?”

“But Healer, Lord,” I tried to explain. “I was going to bring her! I just wanted to help her clean up a bit first.”

“Child,” the Healer spoke to me though His back was turned as He knelt over Broken. “If I am sufficient to heal her heart, save her life, don’t you think I can handle her leg as well?”

 

Recently, the issues of morality and Biblical standards were brought to the forefront in my tiny little picture frame of the world. I believe that I have a Biblical worldview, and I stand firmly behind the inherency of the Word of God. That said, this short parable was my own wondering in prayer and listening to God about when and how to use my worldview and Godly principles to introduce people to the Savior.
Perhaps there are bigger, more deadly wounds that only Jesus can heal. And I can rest assured, that when He has healed their heart, He will heal all the rest of them as well.