ISSUES
Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23 )

The first time I heard the phrase I have issues was when I was out to dinner with two friends. We were talking over a topic, and the gentleman disagreed with a particular point. After stating his reasons why, he said I have issues. It was a peculiar phrase to me. Now it is part of mainstream nomenclature. It is a phrase so familiar it hardly raises an eyebrow.

The Scripture above uses the word in direct relationship to the heart. Since the heart is the center of thought, so often the stands we take and actions we make are heart issues before they are ever lived out. It is interesting that the Bible gives us a warning about the heart and issues. The Lord instructs us to be especially mindful of our interior selves and give attention to heart matters since thoughts and intentions of the heart will be revealed.

Hearts break over loss. Sometimes those breaks are hair-line fractures. Other losses can produce a complete shatter. Depending upon the connection to the person or thing that is no longer there, the heart needs a certain amount of time to process what has occurred, adjust to the vacancy and life change, heal, and approach life anew. This takes time.

During the time of such a process, being gentle with ourselves and/or those we love who are experiencing loss is essential. Taking extra time to tend to heart needs is healthy and wise. Proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration with water, and engaging in constructive uses of time are all benefits that aid one to restoration and acceptance of what has transpired. All of these daily and consistent practices will lend structure to days even when grief is present. Gradually grief will ebb and the heart will heal.

In a time when having issues is a common theme, having faith is a far more certain foundation. Faith in Jesus Christ, the unchanging One, who promises to be with all who believe in Him, is the faith that overrides grief and sorrow. Jesus promises to be with us in times of loss; to walk with us through grief. He is the great I AM; because He is, whatever He has promised means He will do it.

Having issues is part of being alive. Having the Lord Jesus to carry heavy or light issues is an act of wisdom. The Lord cautions us to guard our hearts with all diligence. Asking then allowing Jesus to be our burden bearer and shield in all of our issues, is to exercise wisdom. It is the way to protect the heart and let it heal so that one can invest new seeds of hope and promise that grow into beautiful gardens of faith and encouragement. For ourselves and for others.

Loving Lord, Thank You again and always for Your Word, which is Your heart. In it we have strength, guidance, and power to bring us from strength to strength and glory to glory. Thank You, Jesus, for walking with us in whatever issues we face. We ask You, Beloved Saviour and Lord, to be the shield of our heart and the life force within it. In Thy Name, Jesus, Amen.

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