September 18, 2014

Matters of the Heart can take many paths. Some can bring great joy, others great sadness. I recall several encounters I had with a mom who I had cared for in my obstetrics unit.

As the labor-delivery nurse, I had the first real contact to assess this new baby girl. By appearance, there was something significantly different about this child. A fear gripped my mind as there was strong evidence for Down syndrome. Of course, genetic testing would give the final results, but deep in my heart, I knew my diagnosis was accurate. The baby was physically stable, so I continued with my newborn admission duties and neatly swaddled the baby. Expressing how beautiful her baby was, I joyfully presented this little girl to her mother’s anxiously awaiting arms. The parents did not appear to suspect anything out of the ordinary.

After delivery, a day had passed before I had anymore contact with the mother. By this time, the pediatrician had also assessed the child, and, having his own suspicions, ordered genetic testing. He then conveyed his concerns to the parents. The mom greeted me with gladness as I entered her room. Following some small talk, she said, “You knew something was wrong with her, didn’t you?” I acknowledged that I had my suspicions. She continued, “But you treated her as if she was perfect and nothing was wrong?” I reassured her that she is perfect for who she was created to be. Being a Christian helped this mom understand. She expressed finding comfort and reassurance in my words of affirmation for this child created by God.

Several years later, I met this same mom in the store. She recognized me and excitedly introduced her daughter, now about 3-4 years old, to me saying, “Do you remember her?” She enthusiastically said, “She is such a joy! If I could be guaranteed another child exactly like her, I would have another (child) in a heartbeat!”

This was a matter of the heart which could have caused great sadness, and I am sure this family did experience many times of sadness as they raised their daughter and, perhaps, still do. But, by the grace of God, they were able to experience great joy as well.

God’s grace is evident in His Word to us, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV).

Though the rain and snow of tribulation in this life is allowed to come upon us, God’s Word is profoundly refreshing, life-giving, and powerful enough to accomplish His will for our lives. As we speak words of life in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to this culture of death, God’s purpose will be achieved.

If God speaks His Word to your heart through music, like He does mine, I encourage you to listen to the song Thy Word by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. In this song the comforting words of Psalm 119:105-112 (NIV) are beautifully set to music:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path … I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word … Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are … the joy of my heart.”

Our days are filled with matters of the heart to which God’s Word speaks. God’s Word always accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent and stands as the only certain guide that we have as we journey on the paths of this life.

Please join me on the path to the annual life conference which will address various Matters of the Heart. I hope to see you there!