Do you ever feel like your heart is Swiss cheese? – full of holes and empty spaces. What I desire is a holy heart but what I have instead is a holey heart, a heart full of holes acquired over time. How did this happen? It happens when people walk in and out of my life. I let them in, they take up space in my heart and I am the better for their company. The human heart has infinite capacity to expand, to grow, to allow more people into the place where one’s true self resides. But when death or circumstance or choice (the most painful of the possibilities) take these precious ones away, my heart is left with empty spaces – holes that no one can fill, save the one who first created the space and filled it as only they could do.
Each person’s departure leaves another unfillable hole – an emptiness that persists despite new spaces being created (if I dare let anymore in, lest they depart as well, adding yet more holes to a heart already full of empty spaces) Ironic, hearts can be so full of so many things – is being full of empty holes being full at all? Can one be full of emptiness?
I would rather my heart be full of love, joy, hope, peace, kindness, compassion – all things good and noble. Trouble is, I can’t fill my own heart. It was God who filled King David’s heart with good things. I read in Psalm 4:7 David’s words to God,
“You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.”
Jesus can and will fill my heart if I let Him, empty holes and all. Ephesians 1:22-23 tells me this about Jesus,
“And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”
Jesus fills everything in every way – that would include my heart. When I am feeling empty, feeling holey rather than holy, I remember these words from Colossians 2:9-10,
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you (I) have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
This is good news to somebody like me with a Swiss cheese heart full of holes. And there’s more good news. Jesus told His disciples this,
“If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
Make their home with me? A home is permanence. Jesus isn’t going to go, leaving behind a vacant hole, an unfillable void, like others have done in the past. In fact, He promises –
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) And Jesus told His disciples this,
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16) forever! When Jesus enters into my life and my heart, He comes to stay. He will not add another hole to my heart. He will fill and heal all the holes I have been living with for so long. I do not have to be afraid to let Him in.
Jesus tears down the walls I have built up over time to keep others out, lest they in time depart, leaving yet another hole where once their presence dwelled. Jesus removes the stones that accumulate with each loss, hardening my heart against any would be hole-makers.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
A makeover, just what my holey heart needs! And a good cleaning, nothing good collects in those empty holes that so easily fill with hurt, sadness, longing, despair, or worse, envy, anger, bitterness, loneliness – when Christ comes to stay, He banishes all these even as He fills my every hole with His all-consuming Presence. He cleans out and He fills up my holey heart –
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
“You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)
There is hope for my holey heart today. My Heavenly Father has offered to make His home there and promises never to leave, but to heal and to fill with His infinite Presence – and something more – to guard my heart.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
the answer to transforming my holey heart to a holy heart is in the song I sang so many years ago as a child –
“Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus; come in today, come in to stay, come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”
sincerely, Grace Day