Yesterday as I did this, I was feeling bad for the little guy and hurting for his parents. I prayed asking God for patience and perspective. And He gave me some unexpected insight. He reminded me that I too have been diagnosed with a heart defect. And friend, you have one as well.
Yours and mine won't show up on an x-ray or scan, but God knows they are there. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us - "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Other versions use words like wicked, sick, incurable and exceedingly corrupt.
These aren't pretty, feel good words. Chances are they aren't ones we willingly choose to describe ourselves, but yet they are words God chose for His Word to label the hearts of His people.
As I thought about this, I compared my situation to Gideon's -
A defect doesn't defer a parent's love...Matt and Jackie love little Gideon just like they love their daughter Vanessa. My heart defect and the sin it leads to separates me from our holy God, but my heavenly Father poured out His love for me while I was still a sinner. He knew the condition of my heart and still sent His Son to the cross. Friend, don't let the diagnosis of a heart defect distance you from our loving Father, but instead may it draw you to Him.
Defects can't be treated until they are diagnosed. Gideon was in the hospital with breathing difficulties shortly after his birth. He was initially treated for meconium aspiration and making great progress, but suddenly things changed. It was then they discovered the defects and were able to make a plan. When doctors knew what they were dealing with they could treat the problem. Friend, our heart problems won't show up on a echocardiogram, but we can ask God to examine our heart. (Psalm 139:23-24) While doing so we should remember these words from Mark 2:17 - "On hearing this, Jesus told them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'"
Defects can lead to death. We are so grateful Gideon hadn't been released from the hospital before they discovered the defects - we don't want to even think about what that may have meant. A baby needs his heart to function to live and friend we need hearts that our pure if we want to live eternally. Just like Gideon couldn't fix his heart on his own, we can't either. If we don't accept Jesus as Savior and confess Him as Lord our heart defect (our sin) will lead to death. Even after we've made this decision, we still have heart issues which can lead to the death of dreams, callings, relationships, so we must continually see the great physician for a heart check-up. May this line from Psalm 26:2 be a daily prayer - "Test me Lord and try me, examine my heart and my mind."
Defects can be improved. We are so thankful for the technology that is available and the doctors and nurses who are caring for Gideon - his condition is improving and we thank God for that! And friend, our heart defects can change as well. Ezekiel 36:26 says, "I will you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." God has the power to change us from the inside out! That too is something to be grateful for!!
God can be trusted with the defects. I was visiting with Gideon's mom today and it was great to hear updates and God stories. He is at work in this situation and through it. None of us can fix the little guy's heart, but we can entrust him to the One who made it and holds it. In the same way we can trust God with our defects and we must "trust Him with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) We won't always understand the work He has to do or the way He chooses to do it, sometimes it may bring pain and often it will require patience, but in Him we can trust.
We continue to pray for Gideon and the condition of his heart and now as I do, I also pray about the condition of mine. I encourage you to do the same. Acknowledge the work God has done and praise Him for it. Ask Him where it's defected and allow Him to help you change. Let Him melt it and mold it into a heart that looks like His.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me."
'I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people,
and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.'