Written by Nicole Wood
Luke 2:19 (NIV)
'But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.'
Luke 2:51 (NIV)
'Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.'
The Bible tells us that the heart is the 'wellspring of life' (Proverbs 4:23). Let’s take a moment to look at Jesus’ mother’s heart. I find it so interesting that Luke makes specific mention of what was happening inside Mary’s heart not just once, but twice. Luke was a doctor; well acquainted with human anatomy. He would have been fully aware of the fact that the heart is a vital organ within the body and that our very lives depend on it functioning correctly.
Metaphorically, it is literally the 'wellspring of life' as Proverbs so eloquently points out. Why? The heart is a pump, it pumps blood around the body and at the same time rids the body of damaging toxins. Just as the body needs the heart to pump blood, so the earth needs the water of a spring. And just as the body needs to be pure of toxins, so does the spring water that serves the earth around it.
Luke wants the reader to know that Mary held a treasure in her heart (the treasure of the events around Jesus’ birth and the knowledge of the young boy Jesus’ astonishing wisdom as He taught in the temple). Mary didn’t know at this point what you and I know now. She couldn’t possibly have comprehended the importance and significance of what was taking place in her life right at that moment. There were so many things that probably felt completely out of control to her. But there was one thing that she did have control over, the treasure in her heart. In fact, she held in her heart the same One that she cradled in her arms – Jesus – the Eternal Spring of Living Water.
Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'
What you treasure, will determine the wellspring of your life. This is why Proverbs states, 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life'. That first part – 'Above all else' is significant. If the wisest man on earth wrote a letter to me personally, and started it with 'Above all else', I would be paying close attention.
Jeremiah 17:9 () says, 'The heart is deceitful above all things...'. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we to see almost that exact same phrase again, 'Above all things'. No wonder we should guard our hearts. Its natural inclination is deceitfulness. You cannot trust it. The world tells you to 'follow your heart'. This is a lie, designed to lead you into a life of unhappiness and pain because your heart on its own can never have the capacity of leading you to a life of abundance and blessing. It has to be protected and purified. Only God can protect and purify our hearts, if we allow Him to, if we treasure Him and Him alone, if we are willing to open the door of our heart, where He is standing and knocking, waiting patiently.
Instead of following our hearts, we are called to protect our hearts. This doesn’t specifically mean we should hide our hearts from people in a bid not to get emotionally hurt. Rather, it requires filtering what we allow into our deepest being and choosing deliberately and daily not to love anything or anyone more than God.
I sometimes wonder what does the 'water' look like that comes from my heart. Is it pure enough to quench the thirst of a human race - thirsty for anything that will ease the ache in their hearts? Or, has it become toxic due to bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentments that have been left there for too long? Are we protecting our hearts? Are we actively keeping away the pollution of the world on a daily basis by filtering what we see and hear? Things like pornography, violence, lust, lies, or anything that tempts us to look away from Jesus as our ultimate source. And anything that can possibly steal the treasure that we as believers are destined for – the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you believed that you carried a treasure in your heart, like Mary did, would you not do everything in your power to protect it?
Even when our hearts become polluted, Jesus can filter the water immediately, all it takes is surrendering your heart to His heart. I know that Jesus heals our broken hearts every time. If you feel like the spring has run dry, the treasure is lost, and you have nothing left to give, if you feel like all has been taken away from you, remember the cup of his blood that runs red because of His love - a love that will never leave the broken pieces of your heart alone and untouched. Every piece of your heart is designed to fit into His heart, the size of which is unfathomable.
Whenever I have found myself running after things that the world tells me my heart should desire, I have always ended up lost and disillusioned. This is why it is so important to protect our hearts because the enemy will try his best to deceive us time and time again.
'The human heart has an infinite capacity for happiness and an unending need for love, because it is created for an infinite God who is unending love' (John and Stasi Eldridge – Love & War).
In our desperate pursuit of finding treasure, may we know that the greatest treasure is having Jesus, right in the centre of our hearts. If we choose to drink the water He gives us – we will never be thirsty again (John 4:14).
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