Guard Your Heart at All Times

Guard Your Heart at All Times

By Debbie Walker

My summer discovery was poison sumac.  It is a plant that has the same allergic reaction as poison ivy; rash, swelling, itchiness…NOT fun at all.  So, I have been an itchy, irritated mess on medication!  I got it while helping my Dad clear his driveway. I have thought a couple of times, “I was helping God!  Why this?” 

One thing that I have learned is to replace the question of, “Why?” with, “What do you want me to learn from this?” and, “What do I do with what I have learned?” 

So, what have I learned?  Well, I got this unknowingly.  I knew I was cleaning out plants or weeds, but I didn’t know what type I was clearing.  I went to town so to speak pulling out these weeds. I did not guard my skin at all or avoid this at all.  I know how to identify poison ivy so I avoided that plant. But I didn’t know what poison sumac looked like so I didn’t avoid it.

Our daily lives are often like this. We are careful to say the right things and bring encouragement in situations that we know are “toxic”. But we need to be careful in all situations to be positive and bring encouragement.  We need the Lord’s help and to guard our hearts so that we can bring the encouragement to others.  And to not be brought down with the poisons of this life that destroy.  

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Out of our hearts flows life so we should always be guarding our hearts so that we have good things coming out. We need to do this at all times so as to not be filled with the toxins of the world.  We are currently living in the world but that doesn’t mean we have to be the same irritated mess that we see around us.  Be the positive to others that we want to see.