We are told to take care of our heart, because that is where the enemy will attack. In these attacks, we may not be able to trust our feelings, but we can trust the God who sees. We are remembered and cared for.
Soon, my son, Evan, and I will get on a plane and fly to Philadelphia. There we will meet with a transplant team that will discuss the possibility of a bone marrow transplant. To say I am beside myself does not seem to give justice to the feelings I have. This is not our first difficult decision where Evan is concerned. He has had something health related going on since birth and we have been faced with tough choices all along the way, but this feels different.
When I share this possibility with people – friends and strangers – they all look at me in wonder. Concerned. Worried. They, just like me, know the gravity of this. It’s not a broken arm. Evan has a broken immune system and its over activity is working havoc all over his body. His joints, his muscles, his pancreas, his colon, and my heart.
The attack of the heart …
Do you ever wonder why we are told over and over to take care with our heart. To know that our heart is deceitful. To take our thoughts captive. And to guard our heart. Because that is where the enemy strikes. He strikes at my heart and that is, at its very essence, my thoughts.
And where does the enemy want my thoughts to linger? Oh that’s easy. God, but not the good stuff. It’s not thoughts like: God will supply and God will show up. It’s thoughts like: how dare God and why would he, and where is he? Just like Hagar. Do you remember her?
So [Hagar] called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.
Genesis 16:13, ESV
Scripture tells us that Sarai gave Hagar to Abraham as a means to bear an heir. But it all went horribly wrong. Sarai became jealous of Hagar. The scripture says dealt harshly with her and Hagar ran off. And in the midst of all this mess, the angel of the Lord came and gave Hagar a command and a promise. And Hagar knew she was remembered. She knew she had dealt with the God who sees.
The feelings that lie…
Often, I tell my children that my feelings lie. I tell them that to remind them and to remind me. I have choices with what I do with my fear and how I view my feelings. As a believer, I have a hope. It is founded in the cross and resurrection of Jesus and in the very character and nature of God. He never changes and he is always the same yesterday today and forever. Satan’s objective is to cause me to doubt that good character and to doubt that God sees and that He remembers. He also wants me to feel that I am being harshly dealt with, that what I am enduring is not a good Father but one I cannot trust and who does not care.
The God who sees…
So what do I do when my feelings feel like the only truth I can see or my thoughts keep finding their way to despair or doubt? This is actually one of the few things I can control. I cannot control what comes into my thoughts, but I can control what I allow my heart to meditate on. That can be as simple as carrying an index card in my purse with a verse on God’s faithfulness or as complicated as memorizing several passages that remind me of what my heart is prone to forget. There have been times when every wall in my home had a scripture verse attached to it. And not beautiful framed verses but copy paper written with markers.
I am in control of so little. But this I know, I can bounce my thoughts to his word and allow his word to develop in me a heart that flees to him for comfort and truth. I too, like Hagar, may find myself fleeing from harsh situations in dry and desert-like conditions. But, I am not abandoned. God hears me and He sees. I can believe that, trust him, and meditate on his good promises.