Unpacking Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. -- Proverbs 4:23

Do you ever find your heart just feels heavy?

This happened to me recently with the whole Chick-Fil-A fiasco and the tumultuous debates that followed. I resisted throwing my opinion into the mix because I really felt like one more perspective was not going to help anything. I even stopped looking at Facebook for a little while because every time I did, I just felt weary.

Same thing with Shades of Grey and even the political debates. I'm not saying we shouldn't take a stand on these issues or even debate and converse about them, but I as I've said before, I do think we have a problem when we're more concerned with proving our rightness than we are about loving the hurting. You didn't see Jesus walking around correcting everyone all the time. But alas, I diverge from my point.

My purse is very, very heavy with random stuff. Hand sanitizer, my wallet, at least three lip products, gum, various gift cards, coupons, pens, mints, Advil, random notes, receipts, and on and on. At the end of the day, I get home, and sometimes my shoulder aches from the weight of it all. It's even aching now. Can you relate?

I think if we aren't careful, this same thing happens to our hearts. No matter how cute we decorate them on the outside, they get overburdened when throughout the day, we pick up troubles and become overwhelmed. Pretty soon, the weight is more than we can carry alone. And we can't get the rest of the way home with all that stuff.

Today I saw a dragonfly while I was stopped at a red light, and I stiffened and held my breath as it made its trek across the road. Cars were whizzing past, totally unaware, and even if they had seen it, they wouldn't have slowed down, because who stops for something so simple as a dragonfly? I found myself even praying it would get to safety. Such a small moment, but such a beautiful creation. And do you know what happened? The dragonfly flew up. The cars kept whizzing by, but didn't affect the dragonfly's flight, because she went above the threat.

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

When I think of the verse about guarding our hearts, I've always considered that within the context of protecting ourselves from danger by making wise decisions. But what if there's more to it than that? What if there's a way to actually rise above the danger to begin with?

I'm convinced we are trying to do too much emotionally. We have taken on too much, and we've to stop picking up all these extra "things" and putting them inside our hearts. In a way, doing this really prevents us from ever hearing the voice of God. When we rely solely on our own discernment in any particular situation, we neglect the yearning in our hearts for God, as well as the direction of His Spirit in our lives. We never learn to trust Him when we're so busy trusting ourselves. But God never called us to that. He's said He's given us all we need to fulfill our calling. He never promised anything about the calling we place on ourselves.

Look at Jesus. I am sure His compassionate heart was constantly being tugged by all the broken people and situations He witnessed. But instead of "fixing" everyone, what did He do? He spent his time here connecting with the Father, learning the Father's will for Jesus' ministry and life. I am convinced Jesus did this not only because He knew He ought to, but also to leave a pattern for us.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today or weighed down, I encourage you to ask yourself if you have been guarding your heart? Proverbs says the heart is the "wellspring of life." Lately I've been realizing that when we take too much on ourselves, we feel heavy from the weight of it all, and we allow too much into our hearts. All that extra stuff takes the place of time, energy, and emotions that we should be investing in our specific callings. Not to mention, it distracts us from hearing the voice of God. So today, let's all unpack our hearts to make room for our calling. Let's listen for the voice of God. Imagine the peace that will follow.

What kinds of things do you find fighting for the real estate in your heart? How do you guard your heart and your energy and motivation in life?

I sang this song at our church on Sunday, and it just came on Pandora. What a great reminder of God's love for us and His investment not only in our lives, not only in the product of our work, but in our hearts.


  1. Wow, Ash, what a great reminder. I think I always heard that verse (guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life) in reference to dating only--I hadn't much considered it beyond that.

    Too, too often, I get overwhelmed and I forget to take my burden to the only one who can take it off of my shoulders. Why do I so easily forget? It makes me sad that my first reaction isn't praying that the Lord would ease my burden. Perhaps it's because I like to pretend I'm strong, and capable, and willing to shoulder others' burdens. But I'm not. And I need to remember that before the sadness overwhelms and overtakes me. There is so much in this life we could focus on and be sad about...but I know that God doesn't want us to live that way. He wants us to live free, and with joy, because He's given us so many reasons to be joyful.

    Thanks for the reminder, friend.

    1. What a beautiful comment, Lindsay. Thank you for that. Hugs to you!