“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
The Unattended Heart
Recently, I’ve had the revelation that majority of my “issues” are deeply rooted heart issues. That addictive behavior which left me feeling guilty and full of shame, those ideas or notions that I knew didn’t please God, but I didn’t have enough self-control to stop, those feelings of self-loathing… all of it came from (you guessed it) – the heart. I became so preoccupied with my actions, so distracted by external and internal chatter, that I left the most important thing unattended, my heart. I didn’t understand why I was still dealing with the same issues, the same temptations, the same struggles, and why I kept failing miserably. I would try to white-knuckle past bad behaviors and instead I ended up feeling tired, alone, and defeated. It wasn’t until I told God, “OK, I give up. I am done trying. I can’t do this anymore,” that he whispered ever so softly into my heart, “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. I’ve already paid the price for your sins on the cross. I’ve already fought your battles and won. I’ve already handed you the victory, but you have to hand over your heart.” But, why was God so persistent after my heart? Why was He not asking for my mind or my life? What was so special about my heart that He wanted me to hand it over?
The Springs of Life
I think the opening verse, Proverbs 4:23, has part of the answer to these questions. God created us, He knows how we operate and He knows that a heart left unattended reeks of decay. When I read the Bible, I don’t just like to read it like a textbook, but rather like a love letter. What message did God place in the author’s heart for him to scribble down on those ancient scrolls and why did God preserve it for so many years? See sometime around 900 B.C. King Solomon penned the words, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”. Almost 3,000+ years later I am here pondering on why King Solomon used this type of association when he talks about the heart? What’s the significance behind this seemingly poetic piece of scripture? What message was King Solomon able to interpret when he observed the world around him? What was God whispering to his heart? And now 3,000+ years later, what is He whispering to me?
As you can see, I have a lot of questions. And when I have a lot questions (after God) my next source of truth is Google. For those who don’t know me personally I am a Miami girl, born and raised! So, as you can imagine, many of these rural life connections fly over my head, but thank God for Google. A little Google search led me to some pretty neat (and yes nerdy) information about springs and wells. So, it seems that springs were, and still are, very important. They were particularly important during bible times, people would even go to the extent of starting quarrels over wells that they believed belonged to them (check out the story of Isaac and his well digging endeavors in Genesis 26:18-25). I believe that God is intentional in everything He does, so let’s fast forward to 2017. I am currently sipping off a Zephyrhills water bottle and I don’t think it is a coincidence. In case you didn’t know, Zephyrhills water is obtained from five spring sources — one near the town of Zephyrhills, FL and four other Florida springs. This water that I need to make sure my organs continue to function and operate to full capacity to ensure my vitality originated from, drum roll please, SPRINGS! King Solomon was speaking of these types of springs, not the ones bulging out from your old mattress that led to that unbearable back-pain, but the natural, life producing springs.
I vaguely remember learning about springs sometime in elementary school. These are natural openings in the ground where water flows directly from the aquifer to the earth’s surface. This freshwater is available after a season of rain. Yes, you will need seasons of rain for springs to produce fresh water, so don’t worry about the rain, its producing springs.
Yes, you will need seasons of rain for springs to produce fresh water, so don’t worry about the rain, its producing springs.
Springs in the Valley
Here’s another important thing about springs – there needs to be an opening on the ground. If you are anything like me, God probably had to remind you on multiple occasions to open your heart. I never really understood what that meant. I thought I was doing that every time I prayed? I had so many questions. Perhaps, during this season, so do you. I don’t assume to have found all of the answers, but I do welcome you to join me on this journey as we draw near to the Lord and receive his revelation through the word, interactions with others, and in whatever ways he chooses to reveal his sweet expressions of love.
Sometime, earlier this year (mostly the month of May) I had a total emotional breakdown. Seriously, it was bad. Thank God for my support system because the tears would not stop flowing. Something inside me broke and I didn’t know how to fix it. To make matters worse, I not only had an emotional breakdown, but spiritually spiraled as well. I didn’t know what on earth was going on. My heart literally wilted. Little did I know that during this season of intense rain (in the form of depression), God was creating an opening in my heart for water to spring out and create new life within me in the form of a blog titled “A Blooming Heart”. King David wrote in Psalm 104:10 (AMP), “You send springs into the valleys; their waters flow among the mountains.” We usually see the valley as our down season, King David is saying that even in our down season God will send springs (new life). I am a living, walking testament that this is true.
In upcoming posts, I will dive deep into heart issues that I’ve grappled with and the pruning seasons that I have endured and continue to endure. But, for the purpose of this first post I just want to emphasize the importance of making sure our hearts are opened to God and trust that even if we are currently in a valley, God will send springs of life. I also welcome you to join me on this beautiful and remarkable journey in pursuit of God. I am excited to see where this journey will take us and the healing and restoration that will take place as we pray and encourage each other.
This Week’s Prayer
Lord, I pray that I may open my heart to you. Reveal to me what that means for me personally. Guide me in my pursuit of you. I entrust my heart to you and know that it is safe in your hands. Lord, as an act of my will I open my heart to you and allow you to reveal the things within me that need to be pruned and removed. During this season of rain I accept your victory over my life. I know that even though I may be in a seemingly dark and desolate place, you will make springs flow with new life. I receive your promises over my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
The Blooming Heart Journal Questions
- Has God ever asked you to open your heart to him? Is this an area that you struggle with and why do you think that is?
- In Psalm 104:10, King David writes about valleys. What types of valleys are you going through or have gone through?
- Can you identify the springs of life in your life? (For example, an encouraging word from God, friends who encouraged you, your favorite place to seek one-on-one time with God.) Take a minute to thank God for those springs. If you weren’t able to identify one, don’t fret, ask God right now to send the springs and open your eyes to see his great works.
This Week’s “A Blooming Heart” Challenge
How can you be a spring of life for someone else? Pray for God to reveal what ways you can serve as a source of life for someone else. It might be an encouraging text to a friend, a token of appreciation for a loved one, a small act of kindness towards a complete stranger. Share your “Blooming Heart” moment with us. I am excited to see how you will blossom this week.
For the busy bees who don’t have time to read, here is the audio for this weeks message. Enjoy!