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Joyce’s Journals WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART TODAY? by Joyce Alverson Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. INTRODUCTION My husband recently had open heart surgery. It was a difficult time for us, but it was also a time to see and experience God’s Amazing Grace as well as God’s Help in time of trouble and to see God as a Powerful and Healing Physician. Deuteronomy 33:27 comes to mind: The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. For those of you who have experienced open heart surgery or you have a spouse or parent who has experienced this, you understand what I am talking about. You have sat where I have sat as Ezekiel said in chapter 3:15, Then I came to them…and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished (emphasis added). No doubt the rest of you who have not experienced this kind of difficulty have experi- enced something very close to it. You know that as the Psalmist says in Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (emphasis added). STORY OF INTEREST Right before my husband was taken to the surgery room, I was standing beside him. He called me closer to him and said these words: “Joyce, you know they will be opening up my heart soon and I want you to know that when they do, they will find YOU IN THERE.” My heart was overwhelmed with joy. I have often thought of this event from the spiritual realm. What would God find in our hearts if He were to open them up today? Hopefully, you know the Lord as your personal Savior and Jesus is in your heart today. I came to know Christ as a 7-year-old and my husband was 9 years old. Jesus is the reason we are serving in the military ministry today; we have Jesus in our hearts and want to share Him with others. It is our desire to see many of our military families come to know Christ throughout different parts of the world where we have a military presence. What else would we find in our hearts? The answer, by all means, for most of us would be FAMILY—our husbands, our children, and grandchildren, our church family—and for us who are military missionaries, the military ministry. All of the above are very import- ant to us and close to our hearts. This is why it is so important to never take our family members and people close to us for granted. We never know when we may wake up one day and find it could be our last day with them. Tell them today how much you love and appreciate them. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (underlining added). As I meditate on this verse, I think of how important it is to keep our hearts on guard, especially when we are going through difficult times. It is not always easy to do so. I know from experience that I have made mistakes and later had to seek God’s forgiveness because I did not keep my heart with all diligence. I want to share with you lessons that the Lord taught me during this time of my husband’s open heart surgery. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Love the Lord with all your heart because He will never forsake you. Seek comfort in the Scriptures for in them you will find an answer for every circumstance you may go through. Tell your spouse daily that you love him/her and appreciate him/her. You never know when it may be his or her last day with you. Be quick to forgive when others do you wrong as Christ is quick to forgive you. Mistakes are made when we do not keep our hearts with all diligence. God is quick to forgive when we seek His forgiveness. Words of encouragement are always needed to those who are hurting. Try to sit where others are sitting and it will make you care more. Pray for those in the medical field. You never know when you may need them. The Lord is only a call away and always answers. Praise the Lord!