Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: Heart Murmur
By Nancy Bucca
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Her quiet groans bounced loudly off the walls of Esther’s inner ear, compelling her to seek a hidden chamber of the Father’s heart, the secret medicine chest of holy wisdom. From that chest she drew a diamond, bright, clear and transparent, the perfect instrument for piercing surface wounds and pinpointing the true source of Joy’s mysterious, chronic, and at times unbearably painful bone disease.
The problem turned out to be quite serious, its cure nearly unpalatable. But though the antidote might prove a bitter pill to swallow, Joy’s life depended on it.
Esther administered the remedy gently, saying, “Listen, girl! My internal stethoscope declares God wants you whole. But you have a heart murmur raging against Him, and the only way to mend it is to praise Him through the pain!”
Her words provoked a growl from Joy’s offended flesh, which disagreed wholeheartedly with the diagnosis. “Surrendering to God’s sovereignty is not the same as grumbling!” it protested, putting up a rigid front to block what it perceived as condemnation. But underneath it all, the spirit longed for freedom.
And so, at Esther’s nudge, Joy mouthed her thanks to God through gritted teeth, clenched fists, and stiffened neck. Fiery darts inflamed her heart at every mention of His name. But listening to Esther sing about the precious blood of Jesus caused a warmth to well up from somewhere deep inside her soul, softening her neck, opening her hands, lubricating her jaws, and penetrating every layer of deception.
Suddenly the dam broke. Streams of living water, gushing from the center of her belly, brought to the surface of her mind a clear picture of her true heart condition.
Squeezed into a filthy white-washed cage contaminated with decaying meat, she scratched the floor, searching for an exit. Her fingers found a skeleton key; a lock caught her eye. Then out of nowhere came a pitchfork, slamming shut the door. The vibrations jarred her rib cage with a thousand excruciating lightning bolts. Gasping for breath, she looked up to see a lovely yet mournful woman with golden hair and blue eyes, dressed in sparkling emerald green and holding out to her a silver chalice labeled “soothing.” Joy was just about to take the cup when suddenly everything became transparent. The woman’s outward form faded away to reveal a shriveled hag with pointy hat and warty nose, fangs poised for the kill. Looking through the cup, Joy discerned the rotting marrow of envy, hatred, greed, revenge, and selfish ambition. As for the cage itself, it was made of bones - unyielding bones of contention, formed by her own unforgiving pride!
The vision rocked Joy to her core. With shocking clarity she realized that God had not willed this illness on her. Rather, it was her own ill will that had hemmed her in, inviting tormentors to inject her with the dread disease. She shuddered to recall how often, in an attempt to dull her pain, she had received their witch’s brew of ingrown pity and self-made martyrdom, mistaking it for the wine of mercy and compassion.
With tears of deep repentance she asked the Lord to forgive her heart murmur and set her free. Responding to her sincere cry, He cast out the angry devil and spoke His word into her heart. Every pain inside her body disappeared. Her spirit soared.
Esther rejoiced to see another victory for the Great Physician, the One who searches hearts and minds, bringing every hidden thing to light.
Scriptures (all KJV): Psalm 8:2, 35:10, 37:4 & 139:23-24; Proverbs 3:8, 14:30, 15:30, 16;24 & 17:22; Matthew 18:23-35; John 4:14 & 7:38; II Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 6:12
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