Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. – Proverbs 4:23 KJV

It was a lousy day.


Words came from my mouth, piercing and punching at every turn.


I tried to fix the hurt they caused, but pain seemed to flow like a river between her and me. The more I tried to stop the flow, the more her tears filled the space between us.


Guilt covered me like a wool blanket on a hot summer’s day. It itched and scratched at my soul.


I wanted it off. To feel a cool breeze of freedom and forgiveness, but it wouldn’t let me go.


Condemnation echoed in my mind, and seeped into my heart.


Now who’s hurt flowed like a river?


When will I ever be good?


The doorbell rang as I started to descend my familiar stairway of shame. It was a quick distraction, pulling me from a place I didn’t want to go, but one that lures me so.


A package had arrived at the front door. It was tied with jute rope, and as I pulled it off and flung it on the table, this is what I saw:

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel


A heartstring.


“Keep thy heart… tethered to Me and to Truth, so it will bring you life.” It seemed to say.


“Keep it with diligence…”


Fill it with His good teaching, so shame, fear, or hate have no place to grow.


“Keep it with all keepings.” as Matthew Henry once said.


Keep it with strength, watchfulness, and the help of others.




“For out of it are the issues of life.”


A heart well kept produces good fruit, furnishes life, brings glory to God, and light to the world.


We must become heart warriors, protecting it with a holy jealousy.


God says “Keep thy heart…”


Do it He says.


It’s well within the grace given us to defend it.


He’ll never ask us to do anything powered by people. Prayer, the Holy Spirit, and His Word will help us keep our heartstring attached to the Giver of life.


A heartstring was once believed to be a nerve that sustained the heart – bringing life-rich blood and nutrients from other parts of the body.


God is our heartstring. His goodness flows from His Word filling and tethering His likeness to us. Let us care for our heartstring – strengthening it for a life that’s truly ALIVE!

2 Replies

  1. Bonnie Testerman

    Wow Raye, that was beautiful. Thank you for your spirit lifting writing.

    1. Raye Wortel

      Thank you Bonnie, so pleased you enjoyed it!

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