Wednesday July 16, 2008

I have a real fondness for Psalm 119. Recently when reading it over looking for references to our hearts, I was struck by the wording in verse 32, “thou shalt enlarge my heart.” This is something worth praying for: “Lord, enlarge our hearts. Make us into big-hearted people.”

When left to ourselves, we become fussers and complainers, petty and critical. But when God enlarges our hearts, we “will run the way of thy commandments” (from earlier in vs. 32). This God-given big-heartedness enables us to do our duties (His commandments). And apparently, we won’t merely walk in them, but we’ll run with a glad obedience, with rejoicing hearts. “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicings of my heart” (111) . It seems obvious where we got the notion that big-hearted people are generous, hospitable, cheerful, and love to give. This is how God is.

The psalmist also speaks of serving God with our whole-hearts. We are to seek Him, obey Him, and petition Him whole-heartedly. No half measures. No half-hearted service. “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (vs. 2). “With my whole heart have I sought thee” (vs. 10). “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (vs. 34). “I will keep thy thy precepts with my whole heart” (69). “I entreated thy favor with my whole heart” (vs. 58). “I cried with my whole heart” (145).

Christ is our model in these things, like He is in every aspect of the Christian life. He gave Himself whole-heartedly, unreservedly to God and to us, His people. He is the epitome of largeness of heart,  receiving us and welcoming us into fellowship and communion with Him.

When do we need our hearts enlarged? When do we need quickening?

Unexpected guests. Children awake in the night. Sickness. Sorrow. Breaks and spills. Mud tracked in. Traffic. Lines. Delays. Weeds. Neighbors. Dogs on the loose. Flat tires. Power outages. Canceled flights. Cramped quarters. Forgotten birthdays. Interruptions. Bills. Thoughtlessness. Careless comments. Stains. Overflowing washers. Cuts and scrapes. Fussing babies. Headache. Broken coffee pot.

But we also need quickening and large hearts during those times when we might get complacent. Blue skies. Money in the bank. Feeling fine. Looking good. These can be times of grave danger to our souls. These fair weather days need to be hedged about with prayer and gratitude, just like those days filled with provocation and care. In fact, even more so.

We are creatures with short memories.  God can use those tiresome or sickly days to remind us of our many blessings. How often to we thank God that we feel well, unless it is after a day of the flu? Big hearts are constantly counting blessings, on the good days and the bad ones.

~The above from Nancy Wilson truly blessed me. I hope it blesses you too.~

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