“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psa 147:3 NIV

It was previously thought that a giraffe had a really big heart in order to pump blood to a head 2m away, but recent research has revealed that there isn’t room in the body cavity for this. Instead, the giraffe has a relatively small heart and its power comes from a very strong beat as a result of the incredibly thick walls of the left ventricle, says the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. The muscles around the left ventricle which pumps blood a greater distance is much larger than the right, producing a heart rate of 170 bpm which is 2x that of humans. A strong heart is necessary for the giraffe to live to its full potential. The same is true with humans.

We know a lot about how to take care of our bodies through exercise and diet. We know that blood flow through the entire body is necessary to reach and sustain our full physical potential. But from a spiritual perspective, the heart in its own strength will never reach its full potential.

Everyone knows where to go for medical emergencies. Even children know how to dial 9-1-1. But where do you go for internal injuries, the kind that break the heart and make you question your purpose in life? Without a plan, a proven and familiar path, you will end up in a predictable place.

Most of us know how to appear whole even when we are dying on the inside. But internal injuries won’t hide forever. Can you relate to the psalmist who became embittered when his innermost being was wounded? Where do you take your anger, unforgiveness, regret, shame and all of their ugly friends who weaken the heart with roots of bitterness?

A bitter heart is worn on the face and inevitably bleeds out of the mouth. It took me a long time to understand that hurting people really do hurt people. Have you ever hurt someone else out of your own pain? External healing comes from good internal health.

When my heart beat for things outside the best will for my life and I indulged, I was left with internal injuries no physician could reach other than the One who resides in my heart. Jesus is the only Physician who heals our broken hearts and binds up our wounds.

Much like the giraffe there isn’t enough room in our body cavities to hold a heart large enough to overcome the trials of life. But there is a place in the heart, carved by the hand of God, reserved specifically for the presence of God. The very One who said, ‘Take heart, I have overcome the world’ will become your strength. He can pump your life to the extremities of a plan far beyond your natural potential.

If you could wear your heart inside out, what would we see?

What heart ache needs to be healed?

How much farther could you run with a whole heart?

Brandi McDonald Sikes