Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Well, that didn’t do a lot of good. My wife Judy and I recently attended a pastor’s conference at the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina. It was so refreshing to get away and as always, we were treated like royalty. The teaching, the facilities and the food were all top notch. In these crazy days we are living it was like an oasis where we could pause and refill—to drink deeply from His well of living water.
So, too soon, it was time to head back home and because the conference was over in the middle of the day, it just made sense to stop about halfway and spend the night. Cookeville, Tennessee is just about the midway point, so we booked an Airbnb. It was a nice place and we unloaded and then went to get a bite to eat. In the meantime, it decided to rain. Now let me explain this was one of those rains that could drown a fish. It rained, rained hard and it rained a long time. I was about to check the price on gopher wood. Anyway, when we got back to our home for the evening, I jumped out of the car and unlocked the door and Judy followed.
Well, it continued to rain and several times I went outside to see what was happening. You could hear the rain from inside the apartment and you could just tell it was coming down in buckets. Of course, there was the occasional lighting followed by a good, ole thunderclap. Each time I went out I was careful to lock the door back. You know, the neighborhood looked safe, but you can never tell. Finally, it was time to head to bed and I checked the door and it was locked. We were safe and sound.
Well, sometime in the night, I woke up to rollover and I thought I heard something. Now don’t panic…it was nothing, but I thought it might be something. And then, something occurred to me, a question really. I asked myself, “Did you leave the key in the lock on the door?” Well, that made me wonder…and for good reason. So, in the middle of the night I got up and turned on the lights. I looked on the counter and guess what? The key was nowhere to be seen. I had a sneaking suspicion I knew just where to find it.
I walked over to the door, unlocked the deadbolt, and opened the door and there for everyone and anyone to see and find…was the key. Well, I obviously took it out of the lock and gratefully locked the door back, put the key on the counter and went back to bed. After a short prayer thanking God for keeping us safe, I drifted back off to sleep…no harm and no foul. But it did make me think.
You see the door had two locks…one on the doorknob and one a deadbolt. Those together would certainly keep out any bad guys. But with the key right there…well, those locks weren’t going to keep anyone out. With the key in the lock, it was like hanging out a “Y’all come on in!” sign. As I mentioned, no one tried to come in, but I had rendered the locks useless by leaving the key there.
It made me wonder how often do we leave the keys in the locks that guard our heart, our mind, our character, our marriage, our anythings? You see, God watched out for Judy and me that night and gratefully, He also watches out for us in life. But as sure as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it is better to remove the key and lock the lock. Wouldn’t it have been crazy, though, for me to leave the key in the lock because, after all, no one tried to come in…yet? And just because nothing has gone amiss in our lives yet doesn’t mean that it can’t and it won’t.
The Bible tells us in the Book of Smart Living, aka Proverbs, to guard our hearts because out of it comes the wellspring of our lives. In other words, we need to lock the door of our hearts and put the key safely away. If you are wondering the best way to guard your heart, to lock the door to your heart, I believe the Bible is the answer. It is just jam-packed with help from the One who made us. And remember, the Bible isn’t just a book of rules…it is a book for living well. Like guardrails on a curvy road, it keeps us from big regrets and consequences. Written on the pages and in between the lines is His calm assurance that we don’t have to worry because He is with us and yes, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne