Cultivating The Beautiful Heart

I remember when I was growing up, there were these weeds and plants that would continually grow up in the yard, every year. They were a huge nuisance. Not just because they would grow up every year but also because I would be the one going out to help my dad cut these things.

I don’t like yard work. I never have. My thumb is not green or excited by the anticipation of cultivating anything.

My friend gave me this journal for Christmas. I love what it says on the front. “A Beautiful Heart.” I believe my heart is beautiful. I am sensitive, loving, thoughtful, compassionate, and I have a heart that loves and desires to serve God and to honor Him well.

The challenge is there are weeds and plants that keep growing around it. Some are rooted from way back in my childhood. Some have been planted along my life in times when I sought healing in other places, instead of the Lord. Some have been planted by other people, and still others have been planted by the enemy of my soul.

Some I have pulled out and cleaned up, only to have them grow back again because I have not dealt with the root.

Others I have dealt with the root and fruit has begun to grow where the junk used to be.

The app defines cultivate as: “promoting or improving the growth of (a plant, crop etc.) by labor and attention.”

Merriam Webster app has a definition of cultivating that says: “to foster the growth of.”

Cultivating our hearts takes work. It takes attention. If we are going to clean up and work the ground of our hearts so we can bear fruit, we are going to have to be willing to do what it takes.

Can I confess to you, I am a lot of work. Dealing with my deafness and disability is exhausting enough, but to add the work of allowing God to search my heart, and show me the roots and weeds that need to be pulled up is time-consuming, and produces a weariness inside that causes me to want to give up.

When I feel weary and it feels too hard to keep working and toiling the ground of my heart, I go to God’s Word.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29 (NIV)

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25 (ESV)

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:3 (ESV)

When I feel like I can’t move another inch or deal with another heart issue, I am reminded of Jesus. He endured it all so I may be free. He pressed on for the joy that would come after. I was worth Him going through all He did and I need to have that attitude and draw from His strength as I move forward.

Do we know that we are worth the toiling and the effort?

I never used to but I have come to believe I am. The process may be messy, and I may make some mistakes along the way, but God is cleaning up the garden of my heart,and He is exposing the beauty He has placed there. He wants to do this for you too.

The enemy wants to keep us stuck. He wants the gardens of our hearts overflowing with weeds and plants that overtake the ground. He wants us to get to the point where the work is so overwhelming and painful, we just close the door and fight the urge to give up.

I don’t know about you but I have no intentions of giving up. I went out with my dad year after year, cleaning up this stuff. We are living in the same house I grew up in. Our yard is much more clear now. Every now and again you will see a sign of one of those plants that used to come up but our yard is now a place where we can enjoy life without being overtaken with weeds, plants, and thorny bushes.

Jesus endured for us, so we may be free from the stuff that hinders us. Let’s commit to keep cultivating the ground of our hearts, and doing the hard work, to allow God to clear out the junk that hangs around. May we encourage each other to do the same. We all have it. It may look differently, but it is there.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for creating our beautiful hearts. We thank You that You are there to help us pull up weeds, chop down thorny bushes, and cut out the junky plants that hang out in the gardens of our hearts. When we feel weary, worn out, and that the work is too hard, may You strengthen and replenish us. Thank You Jesus for enduring it all, to set us free. May our hearts be a place where You can live, we can enjoy life, and share it with others. In Jesus Name! Amen!