Jeremiah 17:5-10 v 10 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.””

Jeremiah is writing about the difference between those who “turn their hearts away form the Lord” and those who “trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” One is like a “stunted shrub in the desert”, the other like a tree planted on the riverbank with deep roots, and leaves that stay green and never stop producing fruit.”

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and a time for traditionally bearing your heart to someone you love. I remember as a teenager receiving a valentine card in the mail, what else could be in a large white envelope on February 14th?  My annoying younger sister hounded me to open it and I ran out of the house to go to school and eventually opened the card in the blissfully quiet bus ride to school (upstairs on a public bus not a Canadian school bus!) My human heart was filled with good feelings as I enjoyed the thought of someone unknown writing this and sending it to me, with love. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.” Unfortunately, the love expressed to me that day was only ever a friendship, it did not grow into anything more, like a stunted shrub. Couples who love each other but argue without resolution, hurt each other by not showing they care, and avoid difficult conversations, struggle to sustain the relationship.

Hearts too small can grow

A heart” not bothered by the heat” or the ups and downs of daily life,” or worried by long months of drought” of neglect are “those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. ”I have found more tolerance in my heart for those around me, more understanding of their needs the more I experience the love of God. I have found it in a wonderful sunset, a winter blue sky, and in helping pack shoe boxes. In teaching children Sunday School, in studying the bible, and meeting with others bound for mission in the world. My confidence in God’s love for me, continues to grow my love for those around me. As I write about God’s love for us shown through His word I realize that like any muscle the heart can grow in size the more you use it, just like the Grinch! Look to God first for “ leaves that stay green and to never stop producing fruit.”

Prayer: Holy God who showed His love for us by sending His son so that all who believe can trust in Him, help us today to grow our human hearts to show that love to others around us. Amen.

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