“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct according to what their deeds deserve'” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
Is there anyway this Scripture text can be encouraging? Sinful temptations lurk consistently for everyone. Outside of seeking and receiving forgiveness for those times I fail, is there no cure for a deceitful heart?
Then, the Lord searches my heart, examines my mind, and rewards according to my deeds. That brings pressure–more so as I think of myself already limited by my chronic pain and its challenges. Involvement in life has been slowed down; in some areas, stopped completely.
The RSV translation sparks some clarity for me.
“. . . I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
This Scripture states a fact about each heart and then asks, “Who can understand it?” Ah, the Lord is the one to understand it! Whew. With Him in charge there is hope!
As I commit to keeping my heart at one with the Lord, He is the one who understands it and how I want my deeds to honor Him. They may be limited in my view compared to others’ accomplishments. He is not judging me by others’ standards–or even my own over-ambitious expectations.
He sees with the eyes of His love and care, understands, and most of all appreciates my efforts.
As to “rewards”, the only one I want is knowing His heart sees mine, giving me strength to try when I see opportunities that will honor Him. I am a branch on His Vine gaining motivation from what flows from Him into me. We accomplish in ways the world may never know. But we do. And that should be all that matters.
Prayer: Lord, I love Your heart that welcomes me as one with You. With Your eyes on me, and mine on You, I am wrapped up in the blessings of a pure heart. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
How do you respond when your heart despairs seeing others abilities overshadowing what you would like to accomplish? How has God met you with his encouragement and love and his eyes of love just toward you?
This is a beautiful song with the simplest of lyrics that have great power. Lynn chose thing song just for you and she shares, “In this classic song by Steven Curtis Chapman, the message in my text finds its lyric and I pray it flows right into your heart. ‘His Strength is Perfect’ when our weaknesses are at their height. There is reason to rejoice in a reward as sweet as this.” We hope it blesses you. Take a breath and just listen. -Lisa