How much do you know about your heart? It began beating before you were born, 22 days after you were conceived! Your heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times. The human heart has been described as ‘very deep’ which maybe apt when you consider its ability to pump 2,000 gallons per day. An Olympic swimming pool holds about 450,000 gallons so it takes a heart 220 days to pump this! In 70 years, a heart pumps 51,100,000 gallons – this is an amazing 114 swimming pools so it’s not surprising we can get a bit weary with every extra year! The heart has inspired poets, lovers, writers, scientists and philosophers. Aristotle identified it as ‘the seat of the soul and emotions’. How much can happen in a heartbeat?
- ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart’ – Helen Keller
- ‘Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts’ – Charles Dickens
- ‘Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart’ – Phil Jackson
- ‘False face must hide what the false heart doth know’ – William Shakespeare
It is hard to decide which is the most amazing of the 11 simultaneous organ systems that occur in your body as they all depend on each other. How many of them can you think of before reading on? Here it is then in simplified form: integumentary (protection), muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, endocrine (hormone production), urinary, reproductive and digestive. These all rely on the incredible fist-sized motor that receives deoxygenated blood in the right side and sends it to the lungs one third of a cupful each heartbeat to get oxygenated. It comes back into the left side before being pumped on to all the other organs, all powered by electrical impulses. The design and wiring for our circulatory system puts the heart at the centre of life.
Your life began ticking with a heartbeat and will end when that ticker ticks its final heartbeat. Never mind all the blood that has been pumped, the hills climbed or the other hearts broken, what about those other depths of your heart?
- ‘The battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man’ – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- ‘He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals’ – Immanuel Kant
- ‘Only God can look at somebody’s heart’ – Joel Osteen
- ‘Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart’ – Martin Luther
- ‘Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee’ – Saint Augustine
Time for some words now from the Designer of the heart and the other 10 systems happening in you right now!
- ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”;’ – Psalm 14:1
- ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ – Psalm 139:13-14
- ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ – Matthew 6:21
- ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ – Jeremiah 17:9
When it comes to matters of the heart, God knows we need his help.
- ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ – Proverbs 3:5
- ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’ – Proverbs 4:23
- ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me’ – Psalm 51:10
- ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever’ – Psalm 73:26
Is your heart beating well physically and spiritually? Are there anxieties, mixed emotions and even brokenness unknown to anyone else that you carry in your heart?
- ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ – John 14:27
- ‘Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind’ – Psalm 26:2
- ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ – Psalm 34:18
- ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer’ – Psalm 19:14
- ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones’ – Proverbs 17:22
- ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God’ – Matthew 5:8
Perhaps these poolside reflections on your heart may be helpful. If you put your hand on your heart to feel the pulse of your life, you would do well to worship the maker, asking him to renew you that your heart might beat for him every day of your life. God can change a heart of stone to a heart of flesh in a heartbeat.
TAGS – health, happiness, holiness, purity, truth, inward parts