Loving from the Heart
"Fervently love one another from the heart."1
There is a story by an unknown author being circulated on the Internet that reflects the outlook of Peter's letter to the churches in Turkey. You've probably read it, but it is worth repeating. It may or may not be true, but it does make an excellent parable if you keep in mind that Jesus made up stories to illustrate a point.
It is about a little boy who is about to have open-heart surgery.
"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open up your heart."
"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.
The surgeon looked up, annoyed. "I'll cut your heart open," he continued, "to see how much damage has been done."
"But when you open up my heart," said his young patient, "you'll find Jesus in there."
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. "When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew your heart and chest back up and I'll plan what to do next."
"But you'll find Jesus in my heart," the young boy insisted. "The Bible says He lives there. You'll find Him in my heart."
The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll find in your heart," he said coldly. "I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I'll find out if I can make you well."
Later, the surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, "Damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis," here he paused, "death within one year."
He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud. It was clear he was speaking to God. "Why did you do this? You've put him here; you've put him in this pain; and you've cursed him to an early death. Why?"
The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. "You created that boy, and you created that heart. He'll be dead in months. Why?"
And thus a dialogue began between the surgeon and God. And in that dialogue this frustrated physician discovered a new understanding of God's providence and love.
The surgeon wept.
Now he sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?"
"Yes," said the surgeon.
"What did you find?" asked the boy.
"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.
In times of persecution and suffering, in times of grief and stress, when it all comes down to it, we have only one place to turn, and that is to the power of the indwelling Christ. If, at the heart of the universe, there is not love, then nothing else we believe matters.
As the Bible says, "Fervently love one another from the heart."1
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You loved me so much You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins. Thank You, too, that because I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, He now dwells in my heart. Please help me to communicate His love to every life I touch. And grant that people, seeing Jesus's love in me, will want Jesus in their heart too. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
P.S. If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and life, why not do that today? For further help see the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Christian," at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.
1. 1 Peter 1:22 (NASB).