Daily Walking with God

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Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Hurricane Harvey

give me your heartOver the past several days I have found myself fixated on watching the news report which were keeping America updated with the sights and stories from Hurricane Harvey.

My heart ached for those in Harvey’s path, and still does for all. Yet, I’m also encouraged by what I have been observing too. (Read to the end.)

This led me to ask two questions:

“What breaks your heart?”

“What makes your heart smile?”

The heart is a vital organ in our bodies. When someone has a broken heart, they can have similar symptoms to a true physical heart attack. Seriously! Read Broken Heart Syndrome from The American Heart Association. How we feel, whether our heart aches or smiles, is dynamic to our psyche and bodies too.

In Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The responses to my questions above were overwhelmingly unanimous in the matters of the heart. It was not things, such as a lovely home, car, or boat that made the list of joys or sorrows. It wasn’t someone’s status in life that made the roster of responses. No sir or ma’am. The treasures mentioned were more valuable than “things”.

Here are examples of what breaks folks heart:

  • Seeing a loved one suffer, or die, from a disease
  • Seeing homeless children
  • Seeing a spouse or your children hurt and not being able to help
  • Watching someone ruin their life due to an addiction
  • Seeing family go through tough times
  • When people reject Jesus, and not accept Him as their personal Savior
  • America turning from God
  • Child and the elderly abuse and neglect
  • Abuse of any kind
  • Human exploitation
  • Discord in families
  • After a spouse’s death, not being able to say, “I love you” to them daily
  • People not putting God first in their lives
  • Bullying
  • Being deprived of love
  • When people value material things over relationships
  • Time going by so fast
  • The judging and criticizing of others
  • Rejection, loneliness, infidelity, lack of being independent
  • Hate and discord
  • Lies
  • Being in a Christian/non-Christian love relationship
  • Loss of a child
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Lack of parent involvement
  • Divorce
  • Not living up to others’ expectations

Whew! Just reading that list makes my heart feel sad.

I often find myself saying to God, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.”

In Matthew West song, “My Own Little World” (video) , a verse says:

I’m going to break my heart for what breaks Yours Give me open hands and open doors Put Your light in my eyes and let me see That my own little world is not about me

The group Hillsong United sings the words “Break my heart for what breaks yours” as well in their song, “Hosanna” (video).

What about you? Does your heart ache for selfish gain or for what breaks God’s heart? According to the responses above, it appears that these folks have a heart for God.

Now, let’s get giddy. Read some responses on what makes folks’ heart smile:

  • When a child, grandchild, any loved one says, “I love you”
  • Holding and seeing great and grandchildren
  • Seeing our children succeed, happy, and enjoying life
  • True altruism, human kindness just for the sake of loving others
  • When someone accepts the Lord as their personal Savior
  • Going to church and spending time with family and friends
  • God allowing me to wake up each day and start fresh
  • My children
  • The Shuffs (this made me laugh and happy), spouse, and a two-foot birdie putt
  • Hearing parents laugh
  • Playing with grandchildren
  • Giving back
  • Hearing children and/or the elderly laugh and play
  • Adopting animals
  • Seeing a spouse peacefully sleep
  • Hugs
  • Puppies
  • Sunsets
  • Peace, love, and happiness
  • Nature
  • Children’s funniness
  • Kindness in others
  • Holding an elderly parent’s hand
  • Old hymns

Sweet Jesus! All those make me smile, well…I don’t have grandbabies yet, but one day not too soon, I can’t wait, but I can wait. You get it.

Again, the answers to the question had nothing to do with material “things”.

TEXANS, I want to commend you! THANK YOU for being an example to our nation proving that coming together, no matter the race, political party or religious affiliation, social or financial status, can be done. Well done! Keep it up. You give us hope and encouragement. I pray that we can do the same for y’all.

Yes, these will be tremendously difficult days, months, and years ahead. But if we can all do our part, much like those we’ve observed volunteering the victims of Harvey, and set aside all differences (!!!), there will be much growth and glory through it all and in the end.

Yes, there will be glory at the end of this season of life, whatever season you may be in the midst of right now, when you hold on to hope and fix your eyes on Jesus.

“My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes delight in My ways,” Proverbs 23:26

Whether you have heartache or a heart full of joy, give it to God and allow His ways to consume you. No, His ways are not our ways, and we don’t often understand why events in life happen when they do, but…one thing I do know is that…His ways are best. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

I pray that you will have a heart like God’s. I pray for our country to turn to Jesus. May we strive to do what is best for others, and agree that we don’t agree on many levels, yet desire what is best according to God’s plan. I pray for all those who are being affected by Hurricane Harvey…the victims, volunteers, rescuers, etc..

Blessings to you and yours.

With a heart full of love, Stephanie

#hurricaneharvey #whatbreaksyourheart #whatmakesyourheartsmile #struggles #texaslove #heart