HEART PATHS - By Alice Hickman Sawtelle


EASTER, 2020. As I meditate and call to memory many Easters in my own life, I can’t detour around the present situation in not only our country, but around the world. This Easter will require us to reach to new depths and search our hearts in uncharted regions, as we of the Christian faith yearn to honor the connection with our God that can only be found in the center of our being where God himself resides. Christ in us, the hope of Glory! (This promise is expanded on in Ephesians 1:11-14)

I remember Easter time in my childhood. The excitement of coloring eggs. Then searching through the clumps of grass in Grandma’s yard. My grandma’s house was a special place to me in my childhood. And so it remains today. Special! I lived there with Auntie, Grandma, and my uncles until I was age seven. It was home to me and the place where I returned to throughout my life when needing a solid grounding for my heart and soul. For me, the realm of my soul was anchored in my native land and people. I believe that we all need such a place.

When I reached the old age of 13, (smile) I was then introduced to and came to know the true anchor of my soul. A solid rock. Someone closer than a brother. His name was Jesus! As the old song “In Times Like These” goes...

1. In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

Refrain: This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One
This Rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

2. In times like these you need the Bible
In times like these O be not idle
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

3. In times like these I have a Savior
In times like these I have an anchor
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock

Today, as Easter approaches, I’m reminded of the cross of Christ, the burial, the resurrection and what it all means to me. I think of my heart. A changed heart that recalls a visual roadmap of my life and paths I’ve taken. Some have taken me on detours that have delayed my journey. Some have precariously placed me on cliffhangers, entrapped in hidden and unexpected dilemmas! Others at times took my mind into imprisoned valleys where there seemed to be nothing but darkness. But in all of these, there was always a light that guided my path.

So this week, my heart-path story is about the resurrection. As I’ve searched the scriptures many references to the heart have been given. I’m not a Bible scholar. Neither am I trained to teach. But what I get when I read and meditate on the written word is given to me in my heart.

An unction I believe from the Holy Spirit. I’m leaving you with a few of the many scriptures pertaining to heart issues and how these can literally be pathways to Father God.

(Definition of Heart: Organ that circulates the blood; the vital center of one’s being, emotions, and sensibilities)

1 Samuel 16:7 - People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Psalm 51:10 - Creat in me a pure heart, O God, ...

Psalm 119:2 - Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart ...

Psalm 119:11 ...I have hidden your word in my heart,...

Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

John 14:1 - Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.

Ephesians 5:19 - Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,...

Colossians 3:1 - set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 10:16 - I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.

Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:26 - Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

Proverbs 4:23-27 (taken from my Bible commentary about these verses, with my paraphrasing) Our heart - our feelings of love and desire - Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Put boundaries on your desires: don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that will delay your arrival ...

Colossians 3:15 - Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Even if we don’t understand this presence darkness that has seemingly enclosed us, we can still trust the path of His promises and having done all, let us stand!

Maybe we will take the time to grieve for those this deadly virus has taken.

Then pray for our country and leaders. And for wisdom to guide us all in our daily encounters.

But keep the faith of pilgrims! We’re pilgrims because this is a new territory we’ve never entered before.

Then comes celebration of our risen Saviour. As we purpose in our own hearts! God see our hearts and He knows!