Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
Friend to Friend
A friend of ours has struggled with heart problems for years. He’s gone through seasons of wellness and seasons of strain. Recently, his health challenges moved from the back burner to the front when his doctors recognized the need to operate.
He didn’t just need a simple procedure. He needed open heart surgery to the max. I mean we’re talking valve replacements, ablations, hole repairs, and more.
In the wee hours of the morning before his surgery, my friend’s heart decided to cause problems that led them to the Emergency Room instead of the Operating Room. Thankfully, his surgeon rushed to the scene and took him right into surgery.
Hours later his heart was repaired. In the days that followed, scary setbacks came and went. Each one was dealt with head-on. I asked his wife how I could pray for him. Was there anything specific? Her answer surprised me. “Just pray that he will have the will to press on through the healing process because it is going to be a long, hard haul.”
When I hung up from our conversation, I paused and reflected on her request.
In essence, I will be praying for him to have the heart (the strength, the guts, the determination) to fight for his heart to heal fully.
Wow. I know that struggle well.
Week after week, loved one after loved one, struggle after struggle … this is one of the biggest challenges we face. Having a heart fixed on healing. To press through to a place of wellness and strength: spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. To not back down from the resistance before us in light of the rewards that await us. To run the race of faith well!
I’ve asked God for forgiveness, but I just don’t know how to forgive myself.
I know the Bible says God loves me, but I feel invisible. I don’t FEEL loved and adored.
I believe that God has a plan for my life, but I’m so tired of waiting for it to develop.
I want restoration in my relationship, but I’m not making the first move.
I know my eating patterns are unhealthy and they undermine my wellness, but God loves me just the way I am!
I worry all the time and struggle with anxiety. I really want to trust God, but often fail.
After we go through initial heart repairs with Jesus, many of us find ourselves as wounded believers. Close to whole, but still broken. We want healing but won’t or don’t know how to move forward in the direction of the Healer toward the complete wholeness He has for us.
This is hard stuff. I know. I struggle too. We all do.
Ultimately: every one of us is a work in progress. Our challenges and failures are real and should be acknowledged and confessed. But our faith that God can and will tend to our wounds must be greater.
So, I join in prayer as our friend faces months of therapy, doctors’ appointments, medicine changes, emotional exhaustion, and unseen struggles.
And I’m grateful we pray to the one, true God who loves, sees, hears, purifies, answers, comforts, protects, forgives, and heals those who cry out to Him. He is the great Surgeon who rushes to us in our emergency rooms and takes us to the operating room of His presence.
The One who knows how to care for each wound, burden, and bruise.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).
So, when your heart needs healing, pray and press through barriers in the strength and grace of Jesus. His plan is good. His faithfulness is unwavering. His presence is always accessible.
Move in God’s direction and give Him the burdens of your heart.
Dear Lord, This is hard! Thank You for allowing me to be honest about the challenges that tangle me up. Please move in my heart and in my circumstances today so that I can move forward in faith as I hold tight to the hope I have in Christ.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let’s Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
What would heart healing look like for you today?
If you’re ready to move in that direction, I sure would love to hear about it and pray for you. Click here to leave a comment or to post a prayer request.
More from the Girlfriends
Feel like giving up? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty. Broken into Beautiful is filled with Scripture and stories that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s web store.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.