My aunt had a stroke a couple of weeks ago. At 52 years old she has none of the risk factors for stroke, so we were shocked to get the news the stroke had been confirmed. As it turns out she has a large hole in her heart, which she did not know was there previously. She suffered a debilitating stroke with hearing loss and loss of feeling and movement in her left arm. While her brain has almost completely healed and her hearing and arm movement has been restored, in a couple weeks she will undergo heart surgery to repair the hole in her heart. This way her heart will pump blood efficiently and she will be at a much less risk for having a stroke in the future.
As I was thinking about her impending heart surgery it dawned on me that often times we can walk around in life with a proverbial heart hole. Not knowing the hole is there we walk around with risk of being attacked; risk of death even. Without the intensive work of the Lord in our heart we will walk around like a ticking time bomb. This heart surgery, both physical and spiritual, is necessary to sustain life. Without it, this heart hole prevents someone from living fully free.
Holes in our spiritual heart can be there from a past hurt, bitterness, or even just un-managed anger or laziness. The bible says in psalm 34:22 "God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out." I just love that scripture. Its basically saying that if we make ourselves vulnerable and allow the work of the Lord, he will restore us, give us freedom from sin and hurt. In Galatians 5:13 it says "It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life." So, its obvious this is God's desire for our lives- to live whole and free.
As we approach Easter, the holiday of celebrating our Savior's new life and the new life He extends to us, I challenge you to examine your heart for any holes that it may have and allow the Lord to do heart surgery. For it is then and only then you will live free.
To my aunt Sherrie, you're beautiful and I'm so glad you're still here with us.