JULY 14, 2014
Tethered or Tattered
"The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him." Psalm 28:7 (AMP)
My heart is such a fickle little thing. It just can't seem to make up its mind.
One moment, it is content and calm. Until I receive an email from someone upset with me over something I didn't even know I did. Then my heart hopscotches from its happy place and lands on a square of stress.
Another day, my heart is feeling joyful. And then I answer the phone and hear a weeping friend. Her marriage is crumbling, leaving her and her children in a heap of ruins. Suddenly my heart frets for her future.
Sometimes my heart is smiling and hopeful. Then my child makes a bad choice. A really bad choice. My hopeful heart becomes fearful and anxious. I'm not only disappointed in my child, I'm also concerned what this might do to my reputation as a mother.
A few days later, my back-and-forth heart seems settled and serene. Then I hear the words: terminal cancer. My heart cracks in two at the news my family member must process.
The shrapnel that flies when receiving disturbing or disheartening news leaves my heart in tatters. And a tattered heart overtakes my emotions and affects my ability to carry out what I need to do each day. Try as I might, I just can't focus. My mind wanders and my heart flutters with fright.
Is there a remedy for a tattered heart? Or am I destined to live in this ricocheting world of emotions that threatens to undermine my peace? Today's key verse holds the answer:
"The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him" (Psalm 28:7).
At times when we are certain our hearts can't take any more, we need to surrender them to God. He is our Strength. Our Shield. We can trust in Him. And trust means relying on and confidently leaning on Him to find our help.
What will the result be? The caboose of the verse tells us: "... therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him."
We can possess a joyful heart — one that praises God no matter our lot in life. But first we need to go to Him for strength.
Reminding ourselves of God's power is important. He created the world. He is in the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning. He can uproot mountains and command the seas. Why, oh why, do we think He can't handle our day-to-day problems?
God is also our Shield. Soldiers used a shield during biblical times to extinguish the fiery arrows of an enemy. These arrows were soaked in tar and pitch, lit aflame, and then shot at the soldiers. So a protective shield was crucial.
Soldiers carried various types of shields. The largest type was made of layers of leather. Each morning, soldiers rubbed their shields with oil to prevent drying and cracking. Then they soaked them in water before battle, enabling them to extinguish the fiery darts on impact.
Our enemy, Satan, wants to use the bad news we receive to shred our hearts into pieces and rattle our faith in God. But God is our impenetrable Shield. We must let Him rub the healing oil of His love on our hearts each day. We must saturate ourselves in the water of His Word before the battles of life begin, so we will be able to snuff out the fiery arrows Satan sends our way.
As we tether our hearts to God's truth, we can keep our hearts from becoming tattered.
Will you join me today in tethering your heart to God's Word? Read it. Soak in it. Speak it out loud. Write it on the sticky note of your heart. Study it in depth. Saturate your life with it. Commit it to memory.
A tethered heart rests securely, knowing God is our Strength and Shield. He will restore our joy and leave us singing His praise.
Dear Lord, help me each day to let You rub the oil of Your love on my unsettled soul as I soak in the wonder of Your holy and powerful Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 112:7, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." (NIV)
Psalm 119:16, "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." (NIV)
For Five Ways to Tether Your Heart to God's Word and a giveaway based on today's devotion, visit Karen Ehman's blog.
Need encouragement to trust God even when your heart is rattled? Check out Karen's latest book and Bible study curriculum, LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Can you relate to the concept of having a fickle heart?
When you find your heart tattered this week, what will you do differently?
© 2014 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 14 July 2014.