A “Dead” Heart
By Tracie Miles

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12 (NIV)


I had been on commitment-overload for the past few months. My obligations of being a wife and mother of three, serving in ministry, and volunteering in the community were starting to take a toll on me. For weeks I had felt discouraged and downtrodden, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong.

One morning my brother called, we chatted for a moment and then he wanted to tell me about a dream he had about me the night before. He explained that in his dream, I had somehow passed away, but apparently I was unaware that I was no longer with the living. I walked around smiling and laughing and even attended my own funeral, never once realizing that I was no longer alive. We laughed at such a silly dream (even though I secretly thought it was a little creepy).

I scurried about my chores at home and checked my email that day, all the while trying to put my brother’s disturbing dream out of my mind. Scanned my inbox, I noticed an email from my mother. She had forwarded me a story that had circulated the internet about an 87 year old woman who had decided to go to college.

Due to her vivacious love for life, the woman was asked to give a speech at the end of her first semester. As she concluded her speech, she provided three secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. The last secret caught my attention: Laugh and find humor every day, for there are so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it.

My heart skipped a beat. I read it again, and again. How odd to hear that analogy twice in one morning? Suddenly tears came to my eyes, and I immediately felt the need to go to the Lord in prayer. Now I knew why I felt discouraged lately. Although my body was alive, my heart was temporarily “dead.”

When was the last time I spent any quality time with my Lord? When was the last time I delved into reading God’s word and focused on sincere prayer? Although I had been going through the motions of my every day life, fulfilling all of my obligations and commitments, I felt dead inside. Empty. I had so many blessings, but I had lost the joy of my salvation as I allowed the busyness, frustrations, anger and resentments of life to affect the status of my heart. I thanked God for speaking to me through my family, first in a brother’s dream, then through a mother’s story.

Dear friend, is it possible that your heart is “dead” today? Have you been carrying around a heavy heart and have not understood why? Just as our heart yearns for a loved one who is far away, our soul innately yearns for Christ. If you are feeling empty and burdened, I encourage you to consider what you have been trying to fill your heart with. Have you been searching for joy in your job, your friends, material items, volunteer work, your spouse, etc.?

Those things will never quench the thirst that our soul has for God’s love. Ask Him to revive your heart today and focus on His grace and mercy, or invite Him into your heart for the first time and allow Him to fill that special place in you that is His alone.

Dear Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation and bring back the strength and hope my heart once had. Cleanse my soul with your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources
Do You Know Him?

Breathe, by Keri Wyatt Kent

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

Reinventing Your Rainbow, by Tracie Miles

Application Steps
Ask God to renew the joy of your salvation, or learn more about having a relationship with Christ by visiting our Do You Know Him? page on our website.

Reflections
Do you have a void in your heart that you have unsuccessfully been trying to fill with things other than God?

Power Verses
John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’" (NIV)

Luke 20:38, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." (NIV)


17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always had issues with being satisfied...fulfilled may be a better word. I am 27 years old and my husband and I have three girls ages 8, 4, & 3. Through out my life I have tried to fill my void my way. I clung to my husband like a leach when we were dating, I couldn't wait to have a child to love me, I constantly try to purchase expensive things that are out of my budget, I am forever taking college classes to further my education, etc..... My latest bright idea was to get a job in the city where I want to move before my house was sold. This decision was made without seeking the council of God, of course. I have been working an hour and fourty five minutes away from home for six months now, hoping my house will sell. Why? Because, being near the City will bring more opportunities for my girls. WHY OH WHY didn't I read this six months ago!?! I pray for God to produce.....to give.....to make me "better"....all the while I pile more dept and responsability on my self. I have committed spiritual suicide and I didn't even know it. I feel bad physically and emotionally because of this. Reading this just reminded me that my Lord is the only thing that will make me happy, whole, and "BETTER". Thank you so, so, much Proverbs 31 for letting God use you to reach the spiritually challenged like myself. You are truely anointed.

Anonymous Jennifer M. from CT said...

Today's devotional really spoke to me because the entire month of December I was dealing with a "dead" heart because I was out of contact with God. I hadn't opened my Bible except during church services and hadn't really prayed. You don't know how much you need a relationship with God until you draw away from him. You can still function but all the joy is gone. I guess I know what "the joy of my salvation" means because I actually lived without it last month. Thanks be to God, that I realized what was missing and have reestablished my relationship with God. And thanks to His grace and mercy because the same way I turned away from Him, He could have turned away from me, but He is still there, waiting with open arms for us to come home to Him.

God is good.

Anonymous lali said...

Wow! What a powerful message. As I read this, the tears poured freely, streaming down my weary cheeks. This past Christmas was a rather tough one for my family because it was the first without my dearly departed Grandmother and the first in 26 years without my eldest daughter, who recently moved to another province. And, yes, I felt pretty empty. However, my eldest daughter is coming for a visit in a couple of weeks and we all look forward to see her beautiful face again and hugging her tenderly in our loving arms. Sometimes we do forget to count the many blessings the good Lord gives us each day. Today I will pray for Him to fill my 'dead' heart with the joy of my salvation that I once felt in the past, knowing that it can only come from Him. Thank you profusely for the precious reminder. God Bless you and a 'Joyous' New Year.

Anonymous txsktr6 said...

God is so gracious. Here is a gentle reminder to me today. I can relate to the anonymous reply about all the things we try to fill ourselves with. I didn't realize until today that I actually was like the anonymous woman. I don't buy expensive things, I just buy things we need even though they are out of budget. I fill up my hole, "my mouth", with food to cover the pain, boredom, and restlessness. I try to read a P31 devotion a day just to keep my head barely above water and think that I am okay.This quote from the devotion caught my eye, "but I had lost the joy of my salvation as I allowed the busyness, frustrations, anger and resentments of life to affect the status of my heart." God has taught that there may be a lot of broken people in my life and broken relationships, but I don't have to let them break me. If I had any tears left to cry I would flood my computer desk.
I praise my God and Father for the gift and blessing of P31 and the women who make up P31. May God continue to pour out His Spirit on you all.

Anonymous txsktr6 said...

BTW: I know why I am dead on the inside, This was my first Christmas without my dad. He passed away a week after his 62nd b-day. I never thought at 37 I would outlive my father. My favorite Aunt passed away 3 months after my father, and my two remaining Uncles, age 47 and 62 are dying of cancer. My grandparents, age 84, are declining in health, one with potentially Alzheimer's and the other with heart issues. What I have left of my family could be gone at the end of 2008.
But wait, God says, "You still have them and your mom, husband, 4 kids, in-laws and their family, your brother and his children. I have had my focus in the wrong place for sure. I know I have posted two long postings, I just want to share how God has changed my dead heart today. I am so grateful for a loving and gracious God.

Blogger Jessica said...

Thank you for this! It was just what I needed to hear today! I have printed off the verse and will commit it to memory today! I have been spiritually dead for a while now and God used you today to speak to me in a major way! Thankful for being honest and real with us! God Bless You today!

Blogger Jessica said...

Oh.. and I may link to you today.

Anonymous Bama girl said...

Thanks so much for this. God really spoke to me.

Blogger Rhondi said...

I just came across your blog today and it was a great encouragement to me. Thanks. Rhondi

Anonymous Faith said...

Tears flooded my face as I read the title of today's blog. A "Dead" heart. My heart has been dead now for almost 2 years. My second daughter, who is now almost 3, was a precious blessing to my life. I was a single parent to her, b/c her birthfather was a drug-addict and not a positive influence in either one of our lives. Well 15 months after her birth, he was brutally murdered. The last words i said to him where he didn't have a daughter. To leave us alone. When i found out of his death, i was destroyed. Maybe of b/c of guilt or b/c i felt it was God's fault. But i ended up "dying" spiritually.

Here is is the beginning of 2008 and I'm still "dead". I have been trememdously blessed in the past year too, but am unable to enjoy these blessing b/c of my "joyless life". I met a wonderful man, we became pregnant (before marriage), and of course has struggles. Somehow we made it through and now are Married and raising both girls, Emma Grace, almost 3 and our newest Kayla Hope, 2 months. My husband is a hardworking man and loves me and our children so much. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would ever be as deserving to have a man like him in my life. And be as blessed to be a mother of 2 beautiful girls. Well it's happened and b/c of "deadness" I can't enjoy them.

I've been praying and crying and begging God to hear me and to bring back that joy and "peace that surpasses all understanding". But i just haven't really heard Him....until tonight.

When i was just driving home tonight from the grocery store, I was listening to KLove and there was something from Proverbs 31, i don't remember what it was about..but i thought i should go online and finally check that out. As i continued to drive i was listening to the music trying to praise God and began sobbing, and finally cried out, "GOD DO YOU STILL LOVE ME AND I STILL WORTHY OF YOUR LOVE"!!! I hoped that the next song would speak to my heart and it didn't, i felt discouraged. Until i read today's devotional. I know why I am "dead" now. And this paragraph is what told me so....

"When was the last time I spent any quality time with my Lord? When was the last time I delved into reading God’s word and focused on sincere prayer? Although I had been going through the motions of my every day life, fulfilling all of my obligations and commitments, I felt dead inside. Empty. I had so many blessings, but I had lost the joy of my salvation as I allowed the busyness, frustrations, anger and resentments of life to affect the status of my heart."

Thank you Proverbs 31 for being the tool that God has used to speak to me. To finally hear Him speak to me is such a blessing. I know He still loves me!!! He still hears me and still desires for me to be what He created me to be and is still willing to give it to me. I thank you for your obedience to God and love to those who need to hear God's word.

Thank You!!!

Thank You God for hearing me tonight and responding with such haste. I know I truely am unworthy of your love...but you continue to love me!!!

Blogger ajiotal said...

i have an issue with confidence and rejection. I know I have been delivered. I fell that as I was saying the prayer god has restored me.

Blogger Spiritual Bee said...

very Nice Blog,i love to read all posts of your blog,good work...
Thanks
My blog
Daily Spiritual Quotes

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! Thank you Tracie for being transparent!! God has used this to open my eyes to my heart's cry. I was empty and disappointed-now I have hope to get back on track and hear my Father again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your spiritual deadness. I an awed at the way God has spoken to you and now to others thru your devotional. I praise God for you and will print this off so I can share it with others and read it myself again when I/if I come to that place of deadness(hopefully not). Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this devotional. It describes how I feel. I have been praying, serving others and reading my Bible but I feel beaten. I feel as though I am just going throught he motions.I am praying that God will lift the burden and help me to laugh, smile and sing again.

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Anonymous kim said...

I am so blessed by this word today. I have a Senior daighter who as of lately seems to want to run, run run from God. I ahve been wondered what I have done. this message has just helped me to realize that God does not run from us....... WE run from him, Please Pray for Kate. God Bless!

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