Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Let’s take a look at heart journeys today. In Jonah chapter one, his heart was full of himself, wanting his selfish way as he followed his emotions. His disobedient heart deluded him to the point of being willing to die. We observe in chapter two, Jonah’s heart running from God’s presence finds him in a miraculously provided place. Stuck in the belly of a great fish with nowhere to run or hide, his heart changes and becomes contrite. His mind and emotions catch up, as his heart is filled with Psalms in remembrance, thanksgiving and worship.
What’s your heart’s journey like lately? Can you remember a time in your life when you were in a place like Jonah, hitting bottom, stuck with nowhere to go? Being in the cavity of the whale was a dire consequence of Jonah’s own choosing but also a rescue. Our disobedient willful choices often lead us to dark places just like Jonah, but God is there, no matter how desperate the situation. God is ready to meet you and help you up. He will never leave you; you’re not alone.
Henri Nouwen writes in his book Spiritual Formation, “People who can identify and articulate the movements of their inner lives, who can give names to their varied experiences, need no longer be victims of themselves but are able slowly and consistently to remove the obstacles that prevent the Spirit from entering. They can create space for the One whose heart is greater than theirs, whose eyes see more than theirs, and whose hands can heal and form more than theirs.”
Graph your heart line. Try and label the movements of your heart to God and away from God. Confess those times when your heart has sunk to pits of disobedient despair. Rejoice in the moments God has lifted your heart up out of the depths of darkness.
By Donna Burns