When reading in Psalm 119 recently, a particular verse caused me to pause . . . it is one I have read many times, yet it spoke to my heart in a way that it had not before. The verses preceding speak of the writer's love for God's word, choosing "the faithful way", clinging to the Lord's testimonies, and more. And then the last verse in this section (verses 25-32) reads . . .
"I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart." Psalm 119: 32
When reading this, the thought that immediately came to mind was in relation to the "running" and the "enlarging of the heart." Physically, when we run, the heart begins pumping faster and harder. If one continues to exercise by running on a regular basis, the arteries will expand, the heart will get stronger, and the body will be able to exercise longer and do more and more physically demanding things. It will become more fit, strong, and have more energy, and all as a result of the continued effort and perseverance.
How beautifully this relates to our spiritual life! As we run in the way of God's commandments which are found in His Word, as we persevere and practice them, read and study them, seek to apply them, and to "run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1b), the Lord will enlarge our heart! And as He enlarges our heart, we will have increasing strength and endurance to continue on in this race . . . which will then bear the fruit of a maturing, stronger, and more solidly grounded life in Christ.
Sometimes this "race" can be painful and difficult, and one may begin to think they cannot take one more step forward (things that those of us who have run for exercise can probably relate to! :), yet the Lord gives the grace and the strength to take that next step. And as we take it, He prepares us to take the next one. Yet it hinges on us taking those steps and continuing to run in the "way of [His] commandments." Then, through that continual perseverance and pressing on, we have the joy and comfort of resting in the knowledge that the Lord will "enlarge our heart" and be there with us every step of the way. What an encouragement this is!
-Posted by Sarah