A Healthy Heart
// Jeanne DeTellis Loudon
Do you wake up in the morning giggling? Do you wake up with your heart full of love for God and others?
A giggling heart is a healthy, loving heart. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) To live, we need a heart. Our physical heart functions by pumping blood throughout our body—giving life. We also need a healthy, happy spiritual heart that desires to love God and to love others. How is my physical heart and my spiritual heart healthy and showing love for others?
My heart is healthy and satisfied when I am loving God and loving others. That often begins with a simple form of a wake-up habit. As I leave my bedroom and make my way to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, my first thoughts are to pray. I would rather say my first thoughts are to talk with the Lord. I follow the nudge by spending some time on my knees to thank Jesus for a good night’s rest, and to talk with Him about the day ahead—searching for His guidance. “What today, Lord?”
God is love and because He loved us first, we now can respond to His love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8) God is the initiator. He made the first contact. We receive the gift and we express our appreciation for His love for us, as we in return love Him and serve others.
Before I came to Jesus, I had decided that I would become successful in life. I would work hard and I would have the things of this world (the worthless stuff that passes). When I accepted Jesus as my Savior on February 12, 1954, at 11 years of age, I felt and received His love. I only wanted to love and serve Him. His love has given me what I don’t deserve, what I could not earn, and a love that faithfully surrounds me like the air I breathe.
Now that I’m 75-plus years old, I’ve seen a lot of His lovingkindness. I’ve seen His kind and generous love for the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I’ve seen darkness dispersed and a beautiful light of love move in. Children who were hungry are not hungry any more, and their spiritual and mental capacities have made them great disciples, and now leaders in their society.
What joy to know the wonderful love of God has transformed many of our Haitian children—who are now married with children of their own. Some graduates are even in Paris working in churches. What kind of love can heal, change, and lift up like the kind of love Jesus gives? Like an old hymn says, “Isn’t the love of Jesus something wonderful?” You can’t box it, or describe it, or stop it. It’s a powerful life-changing love…yes, the kind that makes me giggle knowing I have the love of Jesus in my heart. Love is everywhere to give and to be received. The love of God is unlimited, and you can begin to enjoy this gift that will keep your heart healthy and cheerful. Just as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 13:4, love is kind. May God use us to be kind and love others daily. ~Jeanne DeTellis Loudon