Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guard Your Heart

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

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Proverbs 4:23 

Above all else, 
guard your heart,
  for it is 

the wellspring 
of life. 

Well the heart is an interesting thing. I know that I, in my younger years thoroughly thrashed my heart and then locked it away and have tried to pretty much live with out it. Earlier last year the Lord allowed me to see what I had done and how I had locked my heart or most of what was left of it away in a trunk. The Lord helped me to find the courage to face the things in that trunk and my heart is no longer locked away but it sure is a broken mess. I look at it and wonder how God will ever heal all that brokenness. I suppose I should cut my poor heart some slack. Its no wonder it does not hold love or feel love very well. I suppose where has worked and does work at all is the grace and the mercy of God. So Proverbs talks about above all else, guard your heart. Hummm guess I discovered that far too late in life and maybe you have too. You know we talk as Christians about giving our hearts to Jesus. I look at mine and I think "wow, Jesus - you really want that broken messed up thing I call my heart". I suppose only He can begin to fix it - and to do so I am going to have to let Him touch and cut away some dead stuff. The thought of the pain of that surgery frightens me but I know if I have truly given Him my heart - it is His to do with as He knows best. Do I really trust Him to allow him to choose what things can be saved of it and repaired and what things must be cut away.

Then I read Philippians 4:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Reading that helps me to see some of the things I can do to help the process. I can rejoice in the Lord, and rejoice again. I can work on being gentle and care about others who are also very broken. I can choose to not be anxious and I can choose to pray, to be thankful, to make my requests known to God. Oh and do you see it the Peace of God that surpass all understanding will guard my heart and and my mind - through Jesus.

It is no wonder so many of the letters the apostles write they pray for the Lords peace.
His peace is a guard.  Jesus says in John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me."  In John 14:27 he says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

I'm attaching a song by David Wilcox called Show the Way. If you get this in your e-mail you will need to click the title to come back to the site to hear the video. It is worth it - I hope you will.
  I'll include the lyrics for you - I guess where ever you are on that journey to recover your heart - I pray that you find courage and don't give up even when the stage that is set feels very dark and lonely like David says in his song it is LOVE that made the stage.

SHOW THE WAY by David Wilcox

You say you see no hope, you say you see no reason

We should dream that the world would ever change

You're saying love is foolish to believe

'Cause there'll always be some crazy with an Army or a Knife

To wake you from your day dream, put the fear back in your life...


Look, if someone wrote a play just to glorify

What's stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage

To look as if the hero came too late he's almost in defeat

It's looking like the Evil side will win, so on the Edge

Of every seat, from the moment that the whole thing begins

It is...


Chorus:

Love who makes the mortar

And it's love who stacked these stones

And it's love who made the stage here

Although it looks like we're alone

In this scene set in shadows

Like the night is here to stay

There is evil cast around us

But it's love that wrote the play...

For in this darkness love can show the way


So now the stage is set. Feel you own heart beating

In your chest. This life's not over yet.

so we get up on our feet and do our best. We play against the

Fear. We play against the reasons not to try

We're playing for the tears burning in the happy angel's eyes

For it's...




Prayer:
Dear Lord,
You know the condition of our hearts, and you know how much we have managed to trust you with. I pray you would help us trust you with the entire thing. To trust you to cut away, to heal, to mend. I pray for your peace to come now in great measure to myself and to everyone who is reading.
Help us all to take the next steps of faith in this healing process and this journey called life. Help us to show kindness and gentleness to our selves and to other cause we are all broken in one way or another. Shine your light through those broken places that you have repaired and restored, help us to bring your tender mercy into the lives of others. May they look upon the scars and see how much you have loved us and how much you desire to love them too.

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