Restless Heart Syndrome

Psalm 55.22

A restless heart. An all-too-familiar experience. Before I got real about my faith, I had never known what that feeling was…I didn’t have a name for it. I didn’t know how to describe it. It’s like a bottomless pit forms in my stomach and my heart threatens to drop. It dangles above the abyss, barely holding on, contracting, squeezing, fighting. It tumbles around in my chest cavity, rolling from one side to another, never quite finding a comfortable position. It heaves and shrinks and bounces and jolts.

Why is it that our hearts are so predictably unpredictable? And why is it that they are so unpredictably predictable? A paradox of the highest order.

Our restless hearts keep churning within our chests. Sometimes it’s fear that keeps turning the lever; sometimes it’s doubt. Sometimes it’s worry or uncertainty or stress. Whatever the root cause may be, a restless heart is a terrible disease to incur. It slowly eats away at us, it hollows out our souls to allow negativity, pessimism, and faithlessness to take root. It puts us on edge, it alters our moods, it changes our character and hinders our ability to conduct ourselves in a God-glorifying way.

The restless heart is a heart void of peace.

When an illness takes over our body, we take every measure to return to our normal, healthy states. Doctors visits, over the counter drugs, herbal remedies, antibiotics, vitamins, diagnostic tests – the list is endless. We don’t stop until we’ve exhausted every option. And even then, we don’t give up. We keep fighting to regain our health, to regain that state of physical harmony and balance.

When the pangs of a restless heart plague the depths of our souls, we must react in the same way – and with more urgency than we would for our physical ailments. Frequent checkups with the Healer, therapeutic conversations with the Comforter, a few doses of bittersweet words of truth from a mentor, organic interactions with the Counselor, an overdose or two of godly companionship. When restlessness attacks the heart, we must fight with everything within us to remember the promises of the Lord.

He offers us peace that transcends all understanding.
He brings comfort in times of sorrow.
He grants wisdom to the one in need of direction.
He provides when we are in lack.
He guards our hearts from the things seeking to snatch us away.
He draws us into His warm embrace.

Never underestimate the curative power of the Word of God. Although Restless Heart Syndrome is something that doesn’t ever go away completely, we can find comfort in knowing that IN HIM, we are more than conquerors!

Life will continue throwing us curveballs when we least expect it. Stress, worry, fear, doubt – those things will always threaten to infect our hearts with the restlessness we despise. But as long as we run to the Lord, fall at His feet, lay our burdens down before Him, cry out to Him with the yearnings of our heart, seek Him in all things, dialogue with godly friends who point us to the Lord, and submerge ourselves in the Word, our hearts will not fall victim to the deadly grip of restlessness.

In yesterday’s post, Priyanka ended with this simple reminder: “When doubt sets in, remember Him.” Beloved, in the same way, when restlessness threatens to plague your heart, remember Him, run to Him, seek Him. He will steady your restless heart.

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