Arrhythmia of the Soul
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
See to it, brothers, than none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we first had.—Hebrews 3:12-13
One night, lying in bed, something didn’t feel quite right. I was experiencing a strange sensation in my chest. Checking my pulse, I couldn’t find anything that resembled a normal rhythm. Talk about a strange feeling! I got up and walked around the house, hoping my heart would kick back into normal rhythm. It didn’t. The odd thing was that I didn’t feel bad physically, but just had that strange sensation in my chest. I returned to bed and spent a restless night of sleep.
In the morning when I got up, I still had the strange sensation. I did all of my normal morning routines including working out, but my pulse was still all over the map. Finally, later in the morning I called my doctor and got in to see him right away. He performed an electrocardiogram on me and found that I had an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Apparently, many people have this problem. It’s something that people can live with over a long period of time, but left untreated, some people can never return to a normal rhythm. Realizing that this was a new occurrence for me, the doctor sent me to the hospital where my heart was shocked back into normal rhythm. Since then, it’s been important to me to learn to manage the triggers of this arrhythmia, making sure that I get enough sleep, and avoid too much caffeine and stress.
This experience reminded me that many of us also experience arrhythmia of the soul. We sense that something is not quite right with our souls. Perhaps our passion for pursuing Christ has waned. Perhaps our joy in life has diminished. Perhaps our behaviors are no longer reflecting a commitment to Christ. Perhaps our prayers have become just one more thing to check off our “to-do” list and it seems they just bounce back off the ceiling. We feel dry spiritually. We sense something isn’t right.
In those moments, before too much time passes, before we lose the sensation of something being wrong, it’s wise to take action. We are all vulnerable to becoming used to a sickly soul; believing that everything is okay when it really isn’t. Arrhythmia of soul, left untreated, robs us of the full and healthy spiritual life that God intends for us to have. Fortunately, through self-evaluation, confession, prayer, the study of the Scriptures, and encouragement and counsel from fellow Christ-followers, God provides the means to regain a healthy rhythm of the soul.
Today, if you are feeling a strange sensation of the soul, don’t ignore it. Run quickly to the Great Physician who is able to make you whole once again.
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1. What types of challenges do you face that threaten to cause an arrhythmia of your soul?
2. What steps can you take to avoid the triggers that threaten your soul?
John 10:10; James 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11
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