REPOST Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church in S.F., was originally posted on March 29, 2013; it has been updated. Mark is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“A Heart that is Wounded”
Proverbs 14:10-14 (ESV)
The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
One common experience that all people share, no matter your racial, cultural, or economic background, is the fact that we will all go through seasons of heartache and emotional angst. Obviously, there are some who suffer more than others but no one is exempt. COVID-19 is a great reminder of that. People may process and handle their pain differently (we hide it, laugh about it, or simply ignore it) but it doesn’t negate the fact that all of us have wounded hearts.
I’m sure that we can all go back to a time in our lives where we had to deal with loss, disappointment, anxiety, loneliness, and even depression. Some of it might seem trivial like being dumped by your high school girlfriend or being mocked on the school playground but the accumulation of these things can leave lasting scars on our hearts. The book of Proverbs recognizes the connection between the wholeness of our hearts and our ability to live fruitful lives.
We can talk at length about the symptoms of a heart that is wounded. If you put your ultimate hope in your career and achievements, it’s natural for you to struggle with anxiety and worry. If your life is built around reputation and recognition, then you will constantly struggle with insecurity and feelings of inferiority. But even when everything seems to be going well, it’s hard to escape the background noise caused by sorrow. Proverbs 14:13 teaches us that “even in laughter, the heart may ache and joy may end in grief.” Some of the funniest comedians that we have ever known couldn’t reconcile their ability to make people laugh with the depth of pain they felt in the heart. Commentaries on Proverbs point out that this isn’t just true for some people, it’s actually true for all people. All of our laughter has subtle tinges of sorrow especially as we get older and face the reality of life.
We can try to laugh away the inevitable pain of life but there is just one remedy. In order for a heart to be whole, its desires have to be fulfilled. As Augustine put so eloquently, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you.” The journey of faith is about getting to that point where the deepest longings of our heart finds its satisfaction in Christ. This weekend, I pray that you would allow the Lord to do some heart surgery and bring about the healing of your heart.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, we invite You to heal our wounds and our lives. Help us to discern Your voice daily and to obey You without delay. We pray that You would silence the voice of the enemy that often hurts us, so that we can follow Your leading with an undivided heart. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 12