Matters of the Heart

"…man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Heart-Monitor

 Years ago, my heart began acting unpredictably. It would race and then slow, flutter and then skip, before lurching back into a stumbling, syncopated rhythm. Sometimes, my chest hurt. Afraid to fall asleep in case my heart stopped in the night, I’d lie awake in fear, imagining the worst.

And so, the testing began… EKG’s, ultrasounds, stress-tests, blood-work and a wearable heart-monitor taped to my chest, 24/7.

I felt vulnerable and embarrassed, as if my unruly heart was somehow evidence that I was a weakling who couldn’t quite buck up and pull it together. So, I kept it to myself.

On day two of wearing the monitor, it wasn’t my heart that flip-flopped as I dressed for the day, but my stomach. Day two was Bible Study day. I wanted to go—needed to go, but I hesitated. What if someone smiled at me and meant it? What if they asked how I was and pulled me into a hug? I felt sure I'd dissolve into tears, embarrassing myself. A silent wrestling match ensued over whether I should go or not, but my fear and my desperation to hear from God won.

I parked the car in the church parking lot and walked towards the entrance. Ahead of me, women chatted as they hurried along. Suddenly, one of them stopped, turned, and looked directly at me. As the others went inside, she walked back towards me, smiling. Oh dear...

She looked at me intently, as if she knew a secret and said,

“I’ve been watching for you. This morning, in prayer, the LORD mentioned you by name.    He told me to tell you something… He told me to tell you that

He is monitoring your heart.”

hand-heart

With a smile and a hug, she turned and was gone. I stood there, alone in the parking lot, succumbing to tears as wonder and awe washed over me...

My heart beating fast, beating strong.

locket

Have you ever stopped and really thought about the fact that God is monitoring your heart? That He has His finger on the pulse of your deepest desires, motives, cares, fears?

 What's in your heart matters to God.

I don't know about you, but with that realization, I am both afraid and comforted. Afraid because I don't even know my own heart's intents--the motives buried beneath fear, rationalization, rebellion, selfishness...

Comforted because He does.

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Thank you, Heavenly Father, for monitoring our hearts. The world sees our outward appearance, our accomplishments, our affluence (or our lack thereof). You see our innermost being, our true motives, our hopes, our dreams, our fears...

We are never misunderstood by You, never undervalued by You, never misjudged by You! Thank you for knowing what makes us tick and for loving us all the more.

Amen.

About the Author: Colleen and her husband raised five children while pulling up stakes and moving their family throughout the U.S. and overseas, serving in the military and diplomatic corps at U.S. Embassies in South Asia, and Northern Europe. Some of Colleen's published works include devotionals, articles on interior design, humor and a Bible Study. Currently, she and her husband reside in the Pacific North West where she blogs and takes care of her menagerie of animals. You can find her on the web at http://bringbread.wordpress.com