Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”Proverbs 4:23
It rained hard one day several months after we moved into our home, and we were not happy about it. The droplets quickly turned into standing water that slowly inched its way onto our back patio, all the while threatening to slither onto the back step and peer into our dining room from the back door.
All we could do is pray that it wouldn’t come to that as we quietly wondered what damage might already be done.
Fortunately, the rain stopped before it could claim our back step as its next victim, and the standing water seeped through the ground within a few days as the sun beat down upon it. Nonetheless, we knew we didn’t want to take any chances come next downpour, so JJ and I decided to make a bed of rocks that would start in the back yard and run all the way down the side of the house to allow the water to drain.
We ordered a set of rocks several days later, and as soon as they arrived, I went to work at forming what was to look like a dried-up creek. Several weeks later and another order of rocks, our little “creek” was completed, and I couldn’t wait for the next rain shower. We fortunately did not have to wait too long. The next hard rain we experienced, the water streamed into our little “creek” and ever so slowly flowed toward the front of the yard. Our plan was working!
Not long after setting up our bed of rocks in the yard, I read the verse mentioned above. It’s a verse I have read many times throughout my life, but something about it struck me differently this last time I read it.
I believe much of that had to do with our new little “creek” outside. I all the sudden had an image in my mind of what our hearts should look like—something much like our bed of rocks with a steady flow. Thinking of my heart that way made me think about how important it was to monitor what I was allowing to flow into it and what was flowing out of it.
If I wanted my heart to be a spring of life to others, I needed to fill it with the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I needed to know Jesus more and more each day, and I needed His Word to be flowing into me so that it could flow out of me.
Something else I recognized that day was that I needed to make sure that I didn’t have any junk in my life that would hinder the flow of these springs of life. Things like jealousy, resentment, unforgiveness, and discontentment were only going to hinder that flow.
When I’m in my back yard, I like to inspect our little “creek” and make sure it doesn’t have any trash in it. I don’t want anything to slow down the flow of water come next rain storm. How much more then, should I inspect my heart regularly and throw out any “trash” I find there! Because just as physical storms will come, spiritual and emotional storms will come too, and I want to be ready to face them when they do.