Same Kind of Different…

I look at hearts for a living…Every day, I take an ultrasound probe and I look into people’s chests. I look at the blood flow through the valves and chambers. I assess size, shape, function, and Doppler velocities.

After 17 years, I’ve come to realize that when I’m looking at the screen, it doesn’t matter what the person looks like laying beside me. Our hearts are all designed the same. The person I’m scanning could be black, white, Asian, overweight, anorexic, 95 years old, 18 years old, Catholic, atheist, smoker, vegan, a millionaire, homeless, a cheater, or the cheated. I can’t tell by the way their heart looks on my screen.

If I was only looking at a case study on a screen or was scanning through a sheet, I could only guess what that person looks like or lives like. It could be the cardiologist who reads my tests, for all I know!

This got me thinking about the God we serve. He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. He created our hearts physically and spiritually…the same. To physically pump and fire in a certain way. To spiritually crave Him. To seek Him for satisfaction when the world fails us. To love others and to find our greatest joy in serving Him. So…we are the same.

Yet, this same God who created each one of us in His image also thrives on variety. He made us to look different, gifted us differently, walks us through different stories, gives us different passions and interests. He loves variety. So….we are different.

I look at hearts everyday, but I am so relieved that nobody knows my heart like the One who created it. He sees it, He sees me, and He loves me anyway. He supports and heals my heart. He inspires and strengthens my heart. He pushes it to share and He helps it to rest.

The next time you see someone who looks or acts differently than you, think about their heart beating in their chest, it looks like yours. And, it is loved like yours.

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Treading Water…

tread

Do you ever feel like you’re treading water spiritually?

Our Rescuer picks us up out of the depths, we gasp, take a big deep breath of fresh air, and start to breathe. It’s a beautiful and life changing thing…

We PRAISE Him for the rescue. We devote ourselves all over again. We pray more consistently than before. We cherish His presence in our lives. Now, we can actually feel ourselves start to sink if our prayer time fades. Prayer has become our lifeline.

So we are praying consistently, going to church, seeking Him and His will for our lives, loving others, learning to love ourselves as He does, and summoning His strength to share. Treading. Our arms and legs start to tire. We start looking around for somewhere to rest. Our ship to come in. And, we may start to wonder…..what next? What now? I have. I think it’s part of our journey.

When a week goes by and I feel like I’m treading water, I make a conscious effort to remind myself that at least I’m not drowning anymore! I can breathe and my eyes have been opened, Praise God! My weaknesses have been revealed and my mind renewed. I know where to go for true strength. I know where to turn for truth. I don’t fear truth, I cherish it. I’d so much rather receive truth than be deceived one more day.

Then, out of the blue, a raft appears. Jesus says, “not only did I rescue you, I gave you a raft. You don’t have to tread. Rest.” Oh, thank goodness, I need it! And I lie on my raft and I rest. He doesn’t just rescue us from the depths of despair, pain, and deception. He offers a true rest in Him.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Sometimes the routine of our lives and the constant waiting for the next big thing feels like treading water. Still, I’d rather tread than drown. I’d rather rest than tread. I’d rather breathe easily than gasp.

It’s a life long journey and each one of us are on our own. Not alone, but on our own personal journeys between our personal rescuer and ourselves.

Today, enjoy your raft and take a rest with Jesus.