“Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him and keep Him as your own.”
How big is your heart? Have you ever really thought it? I hadn’t until I read this quote from Mother Teresa. Jesus told his disciples (and us) that when he went to be with His Father he was sending another to live with us, teach us, guide us and protect us (John 14). The incarnational Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is offered to us as God’s gift for eternity. The question is, do we have anywhere to put Him in our hearts?
Yesterday I was part of a service team that helped with yard cleanup and landscaping at a
small urban church. As the day started, one of the leaders of the church prayed with us. As
he prayed, he got really choked up and had to take several seconds to recompose himself.
Afterwards he told me that in those seconds God was playing a slide show of images in His
mind. He realized how faithful God had been to this little church and continues to bring people to support them. He said that the images made his heart soar and refueled his passion for the community outreach his church has undertaken. God was enlarging not only his passion, but his heart through these encouraging images.
In their sin-damaged condition, our hearts are way too small to experience all of God’s amazing goodness. I think when we get to heaven, we will be consumed by hearts so large that we will finally fully appreciate this God who made us, protects us, and wants the best for us. Until then He wants to continue to expand our hearts so that we can experience more and more of Him in THIS life. But we have to play our part.
Once we accept God, He is on the job whether we take time with him or not. However, when we do pray, meditate on scripture, worship, or otherwise spend time with Him, he smiles and rejoices. Through His joy, our hearts are expanded and we experience that joy as well. As our heart expands we can also listen, from the heart, to what He is trying to communicate with us. His wisdom penetrates our hearts and we know His will.
Sometimes I question whether anything is really happening when I pray and it’s really easy to skip my prayer time. Then when I look back over the past few years and realize how God has changed me and how much closer I feel to Him than in the past, and I know that He has enlarged my heart.