Why, oh why did Dr. Jones schedule an appointment in mid-December? Who has time for that? My heart is fine.
As holiday prep time grew shorter, my to-do list grew longer. My peace meter registered closer to frayed-at-the-seams-frantic than to Christmas card-perfect.
“This appointment is a waste of time,” I said to my husband. “I have so much to do before Christmas. I need to shop and send cards, and I need to decorate the tree.”
My feisty cardiologist had scheduled an echocardiogram, and trust me, no one argues with Dr. Jones. She ordered this test and others because she suspected a blockage or a rhythm issue.
During the test, I watched the screen. Some views showed the four chambers working in a synchronized fashion. Other angles revealed my valves tapping out the rhythm of the blood flow.
After carefully examining the film with its in-depth images, Dr. Jones deemed my heart “fine and dandy” (my un-medical translation). Emptied of angst and complaints, I took a deep breath and exhaled before I walked to the car.
I rested my hands on the steering wheel, leaned my head in between them, and thanked God for a good report. Then I confessed my complaining spirit and my misplaced priorities. I asked God to calm my heart and exchange my Christmas agenda for His.
The Christmas carol on the radio echoed the peace that now filled my heart. The Prince of Peace is also the Great Physician who sees far beyond the scope of medical technology. He sees into the inner me, my heart of hearts, and cleanses it of sin as He draws me close to His heart.
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.1 Samuel 16:7
As we celebrate Advent, perhaps you’ll join me as I ask the following questions about the spiritual health of my heart and pray,
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.Psalm 51:10
Pre-Christmas Heart-Check Questions
- What does God see when He probes the inside of my heart, the real me?
- Do I begin each day seeking and praising Immanuel, God with us?
- Am I laughing enough and enjoying His presence and my family’s?
- Am I sharing God’s blessings with others as He intends?
- Am I focused on pleasing God with my Christmas preparation, or am I simply checking off the holiday list? (Sometimes my priorities get out of rhythm, and my mind churns with so much to do. At other times, my heart is filled with wonder that Jesus loved me enough to lie on manger hay as a baby and die on the cross as my Savior.)
In 2018, my Christmas season started with anxiety, as well as tests to check for blockages and irregular rhythms in my heart. This year I’m asking God to conduct a pre-Christmas check of my heart of hearts. I want Him to show me any blockage of sin or priorities that are out of rhythm with His heart.
I’m sure, like me, reader friend, you desire to worship and celebrate with a pure heart the One who is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
I look forward to reading your comments about Christmas.
*Scripture verses are taken from the English Standard Version.
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