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Encouragement for Today - Jan. 4, 2008

January 4, 2008


A “Dead” Heart

By Tracie Miles


“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12 (NIV)



I had been on commitment-overload for the past few months. My obligations of being a wife and mother of three, serving in ministry, and volunteering in the community were starting to take a toll on me. For weeks I had felt discouraged and downtrodden, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong.


One morning my brother called, we chatted for a moment and then he wanted to tell me about a dream he had about me the night before. He explained that in his dream, I had somehow passed away, but apparently I was unaware that I was no longer with the living. I walked around smiling and laughing and even attended my own funeral, never once realizing that I was no longer alive. We laughed at such a silly dream (even though I secretly thought it was a little creepy).


I scurried about my chores at home and checked my email that day, all the while trying to put my brother’s disturbing dream out of my mind. Scanned my inbox, I noticed an email from my mother. She had forwarded me a story that had circulated the internet about an 87 year old woman who had decided to go to college.


Due to her vivacious love for life, the woman was asked to give a speech at the end of her first semester. As she concluded her speech, she provided three secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. The last secret caught my attention: Laugh and find humor every day, for there are so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it.


My heart skipped a beat. I read it again, and again. How odd to hear that analogy twice in one morning? Suddenly tears came to my eyes, and I immediately felt the need to go to the Lord in prayer. Now I knew why I felt discouraged lately. Although my body was alive, my heart was temporarily “dead.”


When was the last time I spent any quality time with my Lord? When was the last time I delved into reading God’s word and focused on sincere prayer? Although I had been going through the motions of my every day life, fulfilling all of my obligations and commitments, I felt dead inside. Empty. I had so many blessings, but I had lost the joy of my salvation as I allowed the busyness, frustrations, anger and resentments of life to affect the status of my heart. I thanked God for speaking to me through my family, first in a brother’s dream, then through a mother’s story.


Dear friend, is it possible that your heart is “dead” today? Have you been carrying around a heavy heart and have not understood why? Just as our heart yearns for a loved one who is far away, our soul innately yearns for Christ. If you are feeling empty and burdened, I encourage you to consider what you have been trying to fill your heart with. Have you been searching for joy in your job, your friends, material items, volunteer work, your spouse, etc.?


Those things will never quench the thirst that our soul has for God’s love. Ask Him to revive your heart today and focus on His grace and mercy, or invite Him into your heart for the first time and allow Him to fill that special place in you that is His alone.


Dear Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation and bring back the strength and hope my heart once had. Cleanse my soul with your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:


Do You Know Him?

Breathe by Keri Wyatt Kent


What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst


Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles


Application Steps: 

Ask God to renew the joy of your salvation, or learn more about having a relationship with Christ by visiting our Do You Know Him? page on our website.



Do you have a void in your heart that you have unsuccessfully been trying to fill with things other than God?


Power Verses:

John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’" (NIV)


Luke 20:38, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." (NIV)



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

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