Guarding Your Heart During the Holidays

Image of Augustus Henry
Inspiration from New Creation Ministry —
By Augustus Henry (PhD)

In a season where everyone seems joyous and festive, some may be silently mournful. In a time when some people enjoy the company of family and friends, those without such relationships feel the loneliest. For some, it is the time heartbreaks are felt most intensely.  During these times of joy, some remember how things used to be with loved ones who have passed. In those situations, individuals long for unreachable loved ones – those who are overseas and can’t come home – children who are married into other families – fathers and mothers who started other families. It is at such times they remember great relationships that use to be. In such seasons, orphans miss parents, widows miss their dead husbands and widowers miss deceased wives. For those individuals, the heart is a place of grief and despair during such times. Therefore, in time of such vulnerability, maximum care must be taken to protect it from destruction.

The Real Heart

The heart is the most important part of the body. While it can function without the brain, even the brain is useless without the heart. It transmits oxygen to every vessel, every organ, every muscle, the physical heart that is. There is no bodily function without it.

However, I am not speaking of the contractile muscle in the cavity of your chest that pumps blood throughout your body, but rather, the center of emotion, reasoning, and judgement.  I am speaking of the psychological and spiritual heart today.  Essentially, what I am asking you to do is to protect your mind. Proverbs 4:23  “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Your dreams, your fear, your anxieties, your forgiveness, your humility, your peace, your generosity, your affection, kindness, love and hate, all stem from the heart; And yes, your relationship with God. The health of your heart is paramount to your spiritual wellbeing.

Things that can compromise your heart

In addition to loneliness and loss, there are every-day circumstances that can damage your heart. If you are not careful, economics or insecurity can ruin that emotional center. Worrying about how the next bill will be paid could render your heart faint or fearful or can impede and defer your dreams and lifegoals. Not having the means to participate in the festive season as everyone else, could suck hope out of you. As such, your faith becomes weakened; and what is a heart without faith? In addition, injustice could render a loss of heart and leave your heart hopeless – rob you of the belief that good things will happen. When the pay is not right, or the raise never came, it seems as though hope is lost – especially when you have been waiting all year to enjoy Christmas. People who suffer from broken hearts, time after time, over and over again, become faint hearted and end up with weary or with tired hearts. But there is hope.

Combating the ills of the heart

For the fainted, tired, and weary hearts: Take time to slow down and rest in the Lord. Patience is the cure. They that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). Remember that waiting in the passage refers to dependance on God. Psalms 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

There is also hope for loss-of-heart, when you lose your hope in what you could achieve, what you could become; when your dreams are deferred or put on hold. But hope in Jesus gives your heart renewed strength. The song: my hope is built on nothing less but Jesus’ name and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest flame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.   To protect from loss of heart, you need to find ways to maintain or reignite your hope: Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. There is another scripture that says “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; lean not to your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your path.

There is also remedy for broken hearts caused by rejection, disappointment, or lost love. There is Broken Heart Syndrome, a condition characterized by sudden dysfunction of part of the left ventricle of the heart, accompanied by symptoms resembling those of a heart attack but occurring in the absence of significant coronary artery disease. Typically attributed to stressful events, the condition is usually transient (Mayo Clinic). Jesus said to his disciples upon his departure, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, also believe in me …I will come back to receive you to myself.”

Making the heart eternally durable

2 Corinthians 4:16-18: So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. To stay a broken heart, your aspirations must transcend the natural. It must capture the spiritual and eternal. If focus is on the temporal, the here and now, a broken heart can stick and even lead to physical or emotional or even spiritual danger, but if we set our mind on things above….

Colossians 3:1-2: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above… Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

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