By Ann Mainse
Our culture has a thing about hearts, the universal symbol of love. To show our love, we have balloon hearts and candy hearts, stuffed hearts and necklace hearts. There’s even a heart hand-symbol that has gone viral. Yep, words are no longer necessary. If you want to tell that special someone how you feel about them, curl your fingers with thumbs together, and smile. But when you think about it, why would we choose the symbol of a heart to convey the message of love? Why not a brain? Or a kidney? Or a stomach? (the stomach would definitely work with the men in my family!). Just what is it with us human beings and the heart?
We even use the heart to be descriptive. A person without compassion is heartless, and we encourage him to have a heart. When we’re deeply hurt, we’re brokenhearted or when we’re very courageous, we’re brave hearted. If we want to talk quietly with someone, we want to have a heart-to-heart, or we’ll joke with them and be lighthearted. And why are there so many songs written about losing your heart, finding your heart, breaking your heart, mending your heart, giving it away, or having it stolen? There must really be something special about our heart.
In his book, The Sacred Romance, author Brent Curtis calls the heart, “the flame of the human soul.” He adds, “...out of this wellspring of our soul flows all true caring and all meaningful work, all real worship and all sacrifice.” He says it’s where we first hear the voice of God and come to know Him. Hmmm… Where we first come to know God. Not with our brain. With our heart.
So what does God have to say about our heart? While delivering that most famous of sermons, The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made a very revealing statement about this heart of ours...
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
That’s odd. It’s almost as if Jesus is telling us how to find our heart. As if, instead of being bound by muscle and bone, our heart is mobile and has a mind of its own. Theologian Matthew Henry aptly stated, “The heart follows the treasure as the sunflower follows the sun.” And maybe therein lies the rub. Jesus knows that what we treasure, we’ll pursue… we’ll hold close. And there is nowhere closer to me than my heart. I will guard that treasure with all of my heart, because I love it that much.
But are there things that I treasure that could give me heartburn? Treasures that start off golden but tarnish as my grip tightens. Or treasures that turn from being hidden in my heart to selfishly controlling it, which can only lead to heartbreak.
The heart is a fragile thing. Maybe we should try placing it in a safe place... a secure place... someplace we can trust. With Someone who treasures it even more than we do. Someone… like God.
In Philippians 4:7 we’re given a very definite promise. If we will trust God – go to Him with our joys as well as our concerns – He will guard our heart. Not only that, He will wrap it up all snug with His amazing peace. A peaceful heart. Now that’s something to treasure.
You can have that kind of heart. You may say, “But you don’t know me. I’m too black hearted.” Let me encourage you to take heart. Jesus has promised to wash you from the inside out and make you new… to create in you a clean heart.
His heart of love is overflowing for you. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to trust Him with yours.