My Heart Problem

There is a song out right now by Kutless that, although it is very true, I really don’t like.

Even If:
Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

I don’t like it because the truth is, while we are here, sometimes the healing doesn’t come, and that means I’m still in pain, I still make mistakes, I still have to ask for forgiveness, I’m still imperfect. We aren’t in heaven yet, and until we get there, we still have to deal with the struggles in this life.

Many, many years ago, my heart was bruised. The bruising was not a one time event, it was many events over many years. The trouble with a bruised heart is that it causes you to hurt others if not tended to on a regular basis. This causes a snowball of problems. You hurt, you hurt others, they hurt you. You often do not know where it even began, you just know you hurt.

But a heart problem is really not unlike any other physical disability. If we have a headache, we take a pain reliever. If we are diabetic, we take insulin. If we had arthritis, high blood pressure, a thyroid condition or any other physical ailment we would seek treatment, take the medication and make the necessary adjustments in our lives.

The trouble with a heart(emotional) problem is that it is often misunderstood and highly criticized. Especially as a Christian. We are persecuted and condemned if we still demonstrate issues with our heart. Now I realize, it is more of a head problem, mental illness, chemical imbalance, or nervous system imperfection, but I call it a heart problem because that is where it hurts. I’ve often said that if someone has cancer they get flowers, cards, prayer clothes, and tons of support, but if someone has an emotional/mental illness they get judged, criticized and talked about behind their backs.

Part of my ‘heart’ problem is hereditary. There is a history in my family. Part of my ‘heart’ problem was environmental. Regardless of its origin, it is something I deal with and struggle with and sometimes even fail with. Everyday is filled with obstacles and challenges, but if I am not careful, little things can become magnified. I guess that’s where we get the phrase, making a mountain out of a molehill.

I would love for the Lord to heal me, but still yet today, it’s still here. Some days are better than others. Many factors affect it, stress, nutrition, proper rest, and exercise, both physical and spiritual. For some reason, we don’t get angry or disappointed with God when he doesn’t heal our physical ailments. We don’t even feel as if we’ve done something wrong. It’s just part of life. But when God doesn’t heal our mental and emotional ailments, we feel like failures. We feel like we must be doing something wrong. Perhaps we aren’t where we need to be spiritually or sometimes we doubt if we are truly ‘saved’. Other people in our lives are particularly good at pointing fingers and judging us for still struggling with such issues, especially if they have never experienced such problems.

I think we have to recognize these all as attacks from the enemy in an attempt to discourage us. God is still a healer. God still performs miracles. But when God doesn’t, He is still good. I don’t like dealing with my heart problem, but it is something that I have been given and my only choice is to learn to deal with it.

Please don’t focus on the fact that I haven’t been healed or haven’t overcome this. Instead, I want to encourage you. If you deal with emotional hurts and mental illness, God is still the answer. I do try supplements and have even tried medications, but the real help has come from daily prayer and Bible reading. Support from friends, help from counselors, and Spiritual leadership from Pastors have also been beneficial in my quest for treatment.

People with heart problems such as myself, must pay attention to details. Make conscious choices in the music you listen to, shows you watch, the people you spend time with, the things you read, and the thoughts you allow. Now this is good advice for anyone, because like it or not, we are all vulnerable to heart problems. Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (KJV) ‘Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’ (NLT) This is good advice for all, but just as people with physical handicaps must take special precautions, a person with a mental/emotional handicap must also be more cautious in these areas.

Just as Saul would have David play songs to drive away the thoughts that would torment him, praise and worship are very effective in keeping our minds in tune with God. Daily Bible reading is the proper nutrition for our spiritual souls. Regular fasting helps us to overcome our flesh. Prayer allows us to unload our every care into God’s waiting hands and gives us direction when we pause long enough to listen to his response.

I do know this, I’m not alone. C.S. Lewis said it best, ‘Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’ For too long ‘heart’ problems have been swept under the rug, hidden, neglected, and not taken seriously. Even if we weren’t all trying to hide this hideous deformity in our lives, we’d realize that we aren’t the only ones dealing with these issues. There is help. Don’t give up. Everyday, put your heart in the hands of the Creator. He will either give you strength for the day or the miraculous healing of a lifetime. We recently had a visiting minister who made a good point. When the sick people lay at the pool of Bethesda waiting for the Angel to trouble the waters and receive healing, no one pretended to be whole when the Angel appeared. In Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17, and Luke 5:31, Jesus was recorded as saying, ‘The whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.’ Whatever the issue is, when you are in need, you can not pretend that nothing is wrong, it won’t go away on its own. Just like a small headache. If treated immediately, it can be gotten rid of easily, but often we ignore it, hoping it will go away only for it to escalate into a full-blown migraine, rendering us lifeless and exhausted once it passes.

When there is a healing service at your church, put forth your need. God is going to heal you. It may be in this life or it may be when we reach Heaven, either way, healing is coming. Until then we remain faithful, fighting the good fight of faith, and pressing toward the mark. John 16:33, ‘I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world!’

The children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness, were provided with Manna every morning. They had to collect it new every day. So it is with our Spiritual nutrition. ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ Lamentations 3:22-23 God is faithful to us and with determination and perseverance, we will overcome our ‘heart’ problems.