Sometimes we think, “If I had that, then I’d be happy. That is the relationship, family, body, bucket-list experience, goal, or ministry that I really need. That would fill my life with meaning and value. That is the answer to my prayers.”
What is your that?
Maybe you want to heal from a painful breakup or divorce—or you hope you’ll find someone to share your life with. Maybe you want healthier relationships, more meaningful work, or even a sense of God’s call on your life. Maybe you’re praying for forgiveness, healing, strength and power.
Maybe your that is forgiving someone who betrayed, hurt, or abandoned you. Maybe your that is about your children finding peace, love, happiness and security. Maybe your that is financial security or a job.
Your heart beats for that.
Your heart changes everything
Your heart isn’t just the source of your emotions and feelings. According to the Bible, your heart is the seat of your entire self.
Your heart is part of your emotional limbic system, buried deep in the center of your brain. The limbic system controls your memory, beliefs, emotions, attention and will. Your heart is part of this system, driving your thoughts, actions, and most fundamental commitments. It shapes everything you hope for, believe in, look to, and live for. Your heart is set on the most important things in life—including that.
Your heart doesn’t just affect how you think and act. A selfish, sour, cold, “because I have to” or “because I should” heart ruins an act of love. If your heart isn’t in it, where is God?
All your decisions, choices, and actions flow from your heart. It determines who and what you love. Your heart dictates what you find beautiful, who you yearn for, how you live. Your heart drives every relationship, goal, and desire in your life.
Your heart not only changes everything, it can be can be your biggest enemy. That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
How do you change a depressed, hard, cold, dead heart? By collecting pennies from heaven.
Pennies from heaven
The British phrase “the penny dropped” means the truth suddenly becomes clear. It’s an “aha” or eureka moment, a flash of clarity or insight, a realization of something important. This phrase dates back to the 1920s, possibly from the observation of a penny slowly moving through a slot machine or telephone. Pennies also dropped in the doors of public toilets, unlocking latches. A penny dropping was the sound of relief and freedom! Salvation.
The penny dropped for me almost 20 years ago, while I was reading a poem about cycling through life on a tandem bike with Jesus (which I describe in Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back). Salvation!
Sanctification is spiritual growth, the moving of faith from head to heart. My sanctification is a penny dropping, over and over. Fresh insights, new realizations, flashes of meaning, and steps forward are pennies from heaven.
A heart-changing tip
Recall the first time the penny dropped for you. Tell someone about it! What is your faith story? How old were you, what were you doing, where did the Holy Spirit find you? Who were you then, and who is God helping you become now?
Tell your story to Jesus! One of my favorite ways to connect with God is by reminiscing. I love telling Jesus stories about our biggest adventures and deepest experiences. Old stories we already know, new ones we’re folding into our life together.
I imagine myself as a little girl, my hands on Jesus’ face, exploring His beard, eyebrows, nose and ears. I see the scars on His brow, reminders of the thorny crown. I see the laugh lines around His eyes and mouth. My moments with Jesus are pennies from heaven that change my heart.
What changes your heart? How might you incorporate those moments—pennies from heaven—into your daily life? Changing your heart can change your life…and that can change everything.
With His love,
New on She Blossoms
3 Ways to See Jesus in Your Relationships – Exodus 10 – “Not trusting God has repeatedly hurt people very close to me,” writes Steph on From Believing in God to Having a Relationship With Jesus. “By not seeing Jesus in my relationships I have taken on huge burdens that I cannot handle alone. Only God could handle the problems and pain I have faced with my family. I’ve been seeing a married man for a long time and I know Jesus is NOT in that relationship. Yet I can’t break it off. Please pray for deliverance from evil because surely it exists and it WILL destroy my life! I think part of what needs change is that I need to let God be God. I need to step down from that overwhelming role.”
How to Stop Trying to Control People – Exodus 9 – How do you stop being a “control freak” who wants everything to be perfect? First, be kind to yourself. You’re trying to control people because you love them and want the best for them—and that’s good! There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for your partner, family, friends and coworkers.
3 Simple Ways to Love God When You Don’t Feel His Presence – Exodus 8 – It’s easy to praise Jesus when life is good. But how do you love God when you’re coping with cancer, grieving a death, or just not feeling His presence? And how important is it, anyway?