Week 20 Wednesday

A Steadfast Heart

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 57-59

Key verses: Psalm 57:7-8

 

     These days it’s popular for some to use the phrase “I Heart…” as in “I Heart Radio” or “I Heart My Doberman”.  I don’t really get it.  I mean, what’s wrong with that old fashioned word “love”?  Probably some ad agency’s idea…

     Now in the Bible, the word “heart” isn’t lightly used.

     It’s used more than 1,000 times in the Old and New Testament.  And it has to do with much more than mere feeling.  It has a much broader and deeper meaning than just how one “feels” at any given time or place.  And it encompasses one’s deepest thoughts and motivations.  “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7) or “you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, with allyour mind, with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  To put it bluntly, it’s a whole lot more than just “I heart” this or that….

     That’s why I am struck by David’s proclamation in Psalm 57.

     He says, “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.”

     Clearly the words of a poet king.

     And what is even more striking is that they are, according to tradition, words inspired by the experience of fleeing from King Saul and other enemies into a cave.

     Really?  David plans to “awaken the dawn” with singing – while hiding in a cave?  How is that possible?

     It must be because even there – in the dark, damp, cave of hiding – his “heart” – his deepest thoughts – his life in God – are “steadfast”.  Tucked away where most men would shiver and fear – David’s heart and life are steadfast, sure, steady.  Why?

     Because they are all grounded in God.

When that’s the case – you can sing and awaken the dawn – no matter what the current circumstances of your life.

May we all find the way to be steadfast like that.

“I heart….”  It can be nothing more than a passing fad and a fleeting feeling.  Or it can be life itself.

It all depends on whom you love and Who loves you.

 

Prayer: Lord, may your Spirit fill me, that my heart – my life – my love – can be steadfast – always.  AMEN.

 

 

 

      

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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