Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who Knows Your Heart?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I’ve written a blog!  Life has been busy with milestones and changes.  Ben turned 21 and graduated from Belmont University, Stephen completed his first year at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and Julie and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. After working two jobs for nearly five years I left my position with the State of Tennessee to join the staff of Grace Community Church full-time as Director of Administration.  Life and work are still busy but hopefully I can time to find post more often. 


The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.

Proverbs 14:11


I recently attended the funeral for the father of a friend of mine.  It seems for me the last few years have contained an unusually large number of deaths.  Some of the deceased I knew better than others, a few I really didn’t know at all, but each funeral brought to my mind others who had passed away throughout my life.  My dad went to be with the Lord in 1991, so I know some of what my friend was experiencing with the loss of his father. At the same time I realized that neither of us could fully understand all that had gone on in each of our hearts and minds.  “I know how you feel” can be sincerely spoken, but is never completely true.  

 We have friends and family who we would say we know pretty well. Some people are more open than others, but we can’t see all that’s inside them.  We think we know ourselves better than anyone, but the truth is that we don’t fully understand our own hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”.  Mark Sanford, Michael Jackson, Steven McNair, Sarah Palin, a serial killer in South Carolina; current news stories that demonstrate in various ways that we never know just what is in the heart of a another.

 There is only one who knows the deepest part of us. Jeremiah 17:10 says “ I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind”. God knows our highest joys and the deepest disappointments of life in a way that no one else can.  Yet sometimes He is the last to whom we come with our struggles. Some hold them in, even hiding them, not wanting others to see, while secretly longing for someone to share them with.  Others hold nothing back, openly sharing the most intimate details with anyone who seems to have the slightest interest and sometimes with those who show no interest at all. One builds walls and moves deeper into isolation. The other bares the soul as a relief valve for temporary comfort.  Neither find the healing they need.

 That’s not to say that we shouldn’t share our lives with each other.  Galatians 6:2 tells us to “Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ”.   We are to be a part of each other’s lives in a way that brings each of us honestly before God.  We can encourage and exhort each other through prayer and the Scriptures, asking the Spirit of God to bring change to our lives.  I heard a song the other day by the Indigo Girls that reminded me of how much we all need the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The lyrics were a perfect reflection of how our culture perceives life.

 I'm trying to tell you something about my life

Maybe give me insight between black and white

The best thing you've ever done for me

Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all

Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable

And lightness has a call that's hard to hear

I wrap my fear around me like a blanket

I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.


I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains

I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain

There's more than one answer to these questions

pointing me in crooked line

The less I seek my source for some definitive

The closer I am to fine.


We go to the bible, we go through the workout

We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout

There's more than one answer to these questions

pointing me in a crooked line

The less I seek my source for some definitive

The closer I am to fine


This is the cry of the world we live in. The cry of hearts that no one knows the joy or bitterness of. 

 There is truth to be found. In a person: Jesus Christ.  He knows our hearts like no one else. Not only does he know our hearts, he completely understands every emotion and experience of our lives.  Hebrews 4:11-16 says it best:  For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”