In the devotional book, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence, author Sarah Young describes the heart as a garden, a place where Christ takes up residence when we accept Him into our lives. Our hearts are much like a garden in another way: predators look for a way in, and sometimes they get past the defenses we put up. What do these predators look like? They come in many forms: pride, unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, and lust are a few. The Word of God will protect us from these predators when we apply it to our lives’ circumstances.
We keep a garden every summer, but it proves a challenge to protect and nurture the plants we grow. Everything from the slime-trail of snails to hungry rabbits ready to feed, threatens the tender leaves of our vegetable plants. One year, large caterpillar-like bugs ate our tomatoes to leafless stalks, eliminating the chance for homemade tomato sauce. But other years have harvested an abundant crop of good produce, making it worth all the effort we put forth.
Hearts, like gardens, need care to flourish. They will not be healthy spiritually without the water of God’s Word, the warmth of His love, and strong roots of faith. Each of us is responsible to care for our own heart. The tools we need are available to us if we will use them. God’s Word warns us to guard our heart because life springs from this inner part of us:
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts” (Proverbs 4:23).
Do you struggle with the predators of your heart? How can you protect your heart more diligently?