Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Tell Your Heart to Beat Again"

My sweet friend Robin shared a story with me. Robin is in the middle of Power Aid. We swap stories of encouragement as fellow warriors against The Nuisance. (Keep her in your prayers!!) This particular story was about a pastor who was allowed to be present during an open heart surgery. He watched the surgeon saw open the patient's chest, lift out the heart, and perform the necessary procedure. (All too familiar to me!) Upon completion, the surgeon placed the heart back in the patient's chest and began to massage it to prompt it to beat again. Something wasn't working. The heart did not beat. The pastor realized that he might witness the loss of a life. The surgeon tried again. No response. The team tried more extreme measures, but still there was nothing.  After more tries, the surgeon tried a different approach. He removed his mask, knelt down by the patient's ear and whispered, "Mrs. Johnson, this is your surgeon. The procedure went perfectly. Your heart has been repaired. Now tell your heart to beat again." And it did.

That story prompted Phillips, Craig and Dean to record the song, "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again." The chorus says, "Tell your heart to beat again. Close your eyes and breathe it in. Let the shadows fall away, you'll live to love another day. Yesterday's a closing door and you don't live there anymore. So say goodbye to where you've been and tell your heart to beat again."

It is as the lyrics were written just for me. I know what it feels to be that patient, both literally and figuratively. I daily have to tell my heart to beat again. Even though I am healed of The Nuisance, every twinge or pain brings back fear. Sometimes I find myself holding my breath; the panic threatening to stop my heart. But there is a choice. I can hold my breath on the proverbial operating table, forever dead in fear, or I can tell my heart to beat again. God is the Great Physician. He has performed the miraculous healing. He has removed the mask that separates us and leans down to whisper, "Anna, the healing has taken place. Your heart has been repaired. Now tell your heart to beat again." What a blessing that like the lyrics say, yesterday's a closing door and I don't live there anymore. It is done. Thank God!! Breathe in.

I bet your heart has stopped before; maybe it isn't beating now. Divorce, fear, a prodigal child, loneliness, abuse, illness, death of a loved one; something has left you holding your breath. It has left your heart deathly still. It is time to tell your heart to beat again. You will live to love another day, but you have to breathe. The gift is there. The procedure is complete, but now you have to do your part and tell your heart to beat. God can heal all that breaks our hearts. He willingly does so, but the gift is only complete if we draw a breath.

I know Christmas season isn't full of joy for everyone. You may be among those that are wondering how you will make it through the next few days. Tell you heart to beat again. There is healing. There is hope. The Great Physician has performed the procedure. Now it is up to you. Tell your heart to beat again. You will live to love another day!

Watch the video to "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" here:

Click here to hear Randy Phillips tell the story behind the song:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Glimmer of the Lights

What is it about sitting in the glow of Christmas lights that brings peace to my soul? Regardless of the pace at work; the hustle of activities; the stress and worries of the day; my heart beats slower, my breaths are deeper, and my mind is calmed by the glimmer of the lights. Maybe it is because the glimmer of the lights reminds me of a glimmer of hope. Hope for the future. Hope for the present. Hope built upon the source of the light.

Many will argue that the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol, and perhaps that is where the tradition began, but in my home the tree is a reminder of new life, of sacrifice, and of hope. We put it up as a reminder of the birth of Christ, who sacrificed himself upon a tree so that we, so that YOU, could have new life. The lights that we string around it... okay, let me be honest, the pre-lit branches, remind me of the light that he brought into this world by hanging upon a tree for my sin. In my mind, each light upon my tree represents one of the many promises he made regarding me. Never in my life have those lights, or promises, been more real and meaningful. I have experienced God this year in a way like no other. I have seen His faithfulness. I have felt His presence. I have heard Him sing over me at night. The lights are gentle reminders of all He has done for me and all He promises for my future. They are a reminder of hope.

This Christmas, as you sit in the light of the tree, I hope you will find peace. I hope you will be reminded of the Christ child who was born to save us. I hope the tree will remind you not only of His birth, but of his sacrifice. May the glimmer of the lights remind you of the hope we have because of His life and death, and of all the promises He makes to His children. His light is the source of my peace.

Find peace in the glimmer of the lights.