Garden of the Heart

I will never be accused of being a hoarder. In fact, I have to be very careful when I get ready to give or throw things away, especially when cleaning out the kids’ rooms.

Around August I usually make it a point, especially now that our kids are all out of the house or in college, to take the time to clean out and throw away. I will never forget being in Thomas’ room and pulling out clothes, shoes and things to give away. I was in his closet and as I pulled things out I found a box hidden way back in the corner. I was perplexed over why such a tiny box was so well hidden.

I pulled it out but decided to look inside before tossing it out. I was shocked to see a good bit of money, among other things, crammed inside! So glad I opened it. I immediately texted Thomas to tell him what I had found. I guess he was busy because I didn’t hear from him for a while. I contemplated how long that box had been there. Based on the sum of money I counted, it must have been hidden for quite a while. I was puzzled over the origin of the box. I chuckled after Thomas finally called me.

It was a box Thomas had kept hidden since he was in ninth grade and I didn’t find it until his freshman year in college. He explained that he had saved and “guarded” the money for a very long time. I assured him that I would put it in a safe place (a.k.a. …….the bank). I was very proud of how he had saved and hidden the money and guarded it without anyone knowing for a very long time. I found other treasures in the box–an autographed golf ball and some letters from special people. His well hidden and guarded treasure. Needless to say, I am very careful now to look inside of things when I clean out our kids’ rooms. Who knows what other treasures or special things I may find!

Guarding valued things is something we all MUST do. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else guard your heart!” What does guarding your heart look like?? To me, I like to think of my heart as God’s garden. There are many things that need plowing and toiling up when it comes to tending to the garden of your heart. There are good and bad things in one’s heart. None of us are perfect. No, not one. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but guarding our heart means…..planting and sowing good seed, watering and fertilizing……digging up the bad things, weeding, and throwing the pebbles and stones out to make room for good things to grow.

The good things are God’s word, His plans, coupled with dreams, visions, talents and desires He has placed into your heart. It is also a good thing to desire to obey and please God. The bad things can be ugly things that stink and you don’t necessarily like to see, but regardless, realizing the need to dig them up with the intent to process, mourn, heal, repent, and then get rid of the bad. The bad (energy, wrong thoughts, wrong desires) takes up space and uses up nutrients and space that is needed for the good stuff.

As the “gardener” of your heart, you have to be wise, watchful, willing to get dirty, and be diligent in tending to your heart every day. Good gardeners do not go a day without tending to their garden. They are constantly weeding, watering, fertilizing and sometimes spraying pesticide to get rid of harmful insects that destroy the fruit.

God has designed everyone with an anointed plan, things to accomplish and lives to invest in. Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” When we guard our hearts and tend to the land of our heart, it allows God to nurture and expand our lives in areas where we can “overflow” with accomplishment. There we find true joy and allow His plan to be accomplished.

The end of Proverbs 4:23, right after it instructs us to “guard our heart”, states that “EVERYTHING YOU DO FLOWS FROM IT.” So, in the grand scheme of what the Bible teaches, “GUARDING YOUR HEART” is one of the very first things, a REAL PRIORITY, we all should do to ensure that we are following His ordained plan for our lives. Embracing the truth of Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands.”

God will never leave us or forsake us, but He did instruct us to “guard our hearts.” That is our job. God cannot lie. He is a promise keeper. In order for us to embrace and lead a life of significance, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT TO OBEY AND GUARD OUR HEARTS.

Does the garden of your heart need tending to today? Ask the Lord to show you what may need to be weeded out.

Psalm 86:11-12, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”

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