Why is it that on some days my heart feels like it’s a hundred miles from heaven?
The Bible has a lot to say about the heart, and uses it as a metaphor of the seat of our soul and our spiritual being. The poet-king David often spoke of his heart for God, “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart.” (Psalm 9:1) And God said of David, “He is a man after my own heart.” My great hope is that one day God will say this of me, but on some days my heart feels like it’s a hundred miles from heaven.
If there is a way to a stronger heart for God, what is it? How do I have it?
The way to a strong physical heart is not to rest it. Sitting on the couch watching too many episodes of Dancing with the Stars will only atrophy your heart. Your heart is a giant muscle, the only way to a ferociously strong heart is to work it out, exhaust it, make it beat hard, climb a mountain. Do something so difficult your heart feels like it’s going to beat right out of your chest.
I think it works the same spiritually. When you get up and get out and live your life for Christ your spiritual heart beats stronger. I know this has been true in my life. The most difficult moments are the moments that have shaped my heart for God. They are heart aching, heart breaking moments I wish I could take back, but they are the moments that have grown my heart and brought me closer to heaven.
This past week I’ve thought much about what has shaped my heart, a few moments stand out:
-Sitting with a man named Moses when his baby twin daughters died of Malaria – shaped my heart.
-Watching young men play basketball in one shoe, because they only had one shoe – shaped my heart.
-Giving baths to children who’s home is a city dump – shaped my heart.
-Having to tell a beautiful young woman she is HIV positive – shaped my heart.
-Seeing women chained together at the ankles on Arizona Avenue – shaped my heart.
-Watching my closest friend in Malawi die of AIDS – shaped my heart.
-Having people who have less than me share their food and possessions with me – has shaped my heart.
So when your heart begins to feel like it’s a hundred miles from heaven, give your life away; mentor, serve, give, share, hold, encourage, love… and let God grow your heart.