The call came when I least expected it, as calls like this often do. My nephew, Scott, was describing his 70-year-old mother’s physical condition. He was working hard to help me understand all that was happening in her body and how it was failing her. His last comment was unmistakably accurate – in so many ways – “So, everything goes back to the heart.”
Yep. It sure does. Everything goes back to the heart.
Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.
And that’s where most shepherds seem to fail. I know it’s where I fail.
Whether it was Moses’ lack of ability to follow God’s directives, David’s selfish, lustful, murderous conduct, or our own modern-day prideful and fearful behaviors … all too often it goes back to the heart.
What we do, how we do it, the way we think, how we respond, the advice we give, the comments we make, the emails we send, the words we use … all go back to the heart.
Our hearts. My heart. Your heart. Our connection to the Father.
And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.
Leaders who seek after God’s heart shepherd effectively. With knowledge, prudence, insight, wisdom, and a capacity to understand, they are a gift to those who follow them. A gift from the Father.
My heart wasn’t working so well today. Oh, my ticker was pumping just fine, sending blood throughout the various parts of my body just like it was created to do. But my spiritual heart was lacking. The words I used, the email I sent, the response I shot back … they were not from a shepherd who was seeking God’s heart.
What a gift the Father gives us when with grace and mercy and patience and forgiveness, He leads us to repaired hearts – hearts of joy and peace and gratitude and love.
As a shepherd, what a gift we give those we lead when our hearts long to be as the Good Shepherd’s heart, when we act with grace and mercy and patience and forgiveness.
Yes, Scott, you’re right, everything goes back to the heart.
How’s your heart today?