The Reason My Heart is Still Beating

MyHeartThis is my 100th post here on Feast on the Word. To celebrate, I’ve decided to honor the person who is the number one reason I write this blog: Jesus Christ

Evidence suggests he was thirty-three years old when he suffered and died for mankind. For me.

And here I am, exactly the same age. (there, I said it)

One third of a century. I really should be a better person by now. More like him. Instead, I’m often:

impatient
lazy
prideful
selfish
cowardly
critical
inconsiderate
complaining
self-centered
fearful

And that’s just the beginning of the list.

Jesus, on the other hand, lived a sinless life. Sure, he had God as his biological father, making a life without sin possible.

But he could have chosen another way. A way that would have given him more earthly glory, power, fame, and recognition. He could have been a superstar: adored, admired, and revered for taking charge politically and freeing the people from Roman rule. For taking over the world. Or for any number of reasons, really, that had little or nothing to do with right and good and sinless.

He didn’t go that direction, though.

Instead, he went my direction.

I am Jairus’ daughter. I was sick, and died before Jesus made it to my house to heal me. (see Mark 5:22-24, 35-43)

I was only twelve. My potential, what I could have become as a grown-up…it just didn’t matter anymore.

Death does that to you.

But when Christ saw me there, lying lifeless on my messy bed, he told the others I was just sleeping.

And he spoke to me. To a small place in my heart I didn’t know existed, an empty and dark space that death couldn’t reach because there was nothing there to steal.

Arise, Jesus says.

Du-dunk, that small empty and dark space in my heart replies, responding to his word. To Him.

And I realize: the empty and dark space in my heart just needs to be filled. Once filled, my heart can function properly and tell the rest of my body to wake up. Pumping wildly, my heart can affect every cell in my body, chase away the darkness of death.

Light. The space in my heart needs light. Light chases away the darkness, fills the emptiness.

And I’m right. The light…it should kill me with its intensity and power. Instead, it makes me whole. It doesn’t just fill the small space in my heart, but every part of me.

As Jesus clasps his hand around mine and helps me fulfill his command to rise, I feel more than hear his words:

I am the light who gave you the light of life. (John 8:12)

I have pulled you out of death. Temporal and spiritual. (2 Ne 9:10-12)

Because of me, you can grow up. Because of me, you can reach your potential. (3 Ne 12:48)

But how, I ask. Haven’t you seen my list of negative attributes? It’s very long.

And he smiles that dizzying and loving smile of his, and repeats the words he spoke earlier that very same day:

Be not afraid, only believe. (Mark 5:25)

Then he asks me to hand him my list, telling me we’ll take care of it together, though it might take some time.

So I do.

But because I like lists, I start a new one. The first points?

Allow His light to chase away my darkness and fill my emptiness.

Arise.

Accept His outstretched hand.

And always remember He is the reason my heart is still beating.

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