Deep within our core lies our heart, central to life itself. With every beat, our hearts have a need to be filled – filled with oxygen necessary for survival. Anytime the tension is raised, be that through exercise, excitement or anxiety our hearts crie out for more and more oxygen- just to keep our body alive.
But when we talks of hearts, we mean more than just a vital organ. Our ‘hearts’ also lie at the centre of our souls, and just like our physical hearts, they are desperate to be filled with something. They cannot remain empty. But how do we seek to fill our hearts? Often the things we choose are where our hearts lie.
There’s that craving for acceptance, satisfaction and purpose. We want to do more than just go through the motions of life. The emptiness of the mundane seems a lifeless void we can’t survive. So we search, and search. We seek out popularity and perfection, talents and possessions – anything that will make us feel alive for a moment. But we know these are just a temporary fill. They are just a life support machine; they can only keep us going for a limited amount of time.
Just as carbon dioxide needs to be pumped out of our bodies, similarly a multitude of lies needs to be pumped out from my heart.
Yet, as the stresses in our lives place pressure upon us, we will hang on to anything – anything that gives us some lease of life. But, in doing that we’re intoxicating ourselves with the lie. The lie that tells us we have to earn acceptance, we have to earn our love and security, and most importantly we have to earn our life. Is it any wonder we struggle to breathe?
Last week, I joined with hundreds of others to Blackout. I deliberately choose to not inhale life from social media, my phone or i-pod. In blacking out, I felt cut off from the outside world. Yet, in praying for God to breathe new life into the persecuted church, he also breathed new life and healing into my bruised heart. Just as carbon dioxide needs to be pumped out of our bodies, similarly a multitude of lies needs to be pumped out from my heart.
Emptiness seemed to dominate the start of my Blackout; the sound of silence was strange. I’m a massive perfectionist. Often I have this need to be busy – perfecting my life, because for some crazy reason I think ‘perfection’ is where satisfaction will come from.
Yet it’s actually a lie that clots up the arteries leading to my heart. The arteries that need to be clear, that need to be satisfied in the silence, the silence of just me and God. The place I know that I’m chosen and loved, despite of all the defects of my heart.
With all the noisy barriers in our lives-where else can God heal our battered hearts, except in the silence? Depending on God, breathing on his grace alone is the only thing that can resurrect our crushed hearts. In the midst of the CPR, suddenly that’s where we learn the art of thankfulness. Thankful, that we no longer need to be hooked up to a life that rots our hearts, which tells us we have to earn everything in life.
At last we are free to breathe!
Many who are persecuted for following Jesus have that thankfulness reigning in their soul, it’s what fills their heart with courage to stay rooted in the truth. Even when they’re physically beaten they have this amazing passion for God, that keeps them persevering. In every way they are pressing on, every heart beat one step close to seeing his face. Their hearts are lying in his grace.
That’s where are hearts need to be too, lying in his grace – because what else will resurrect us when our physical hearts die?