Enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:32

I will run in the way of Your commandments when You enlarge my heart! Psalm 119:32

This is the assertion of the psalmist who also laments in this stanza, “My soul clings to the dust; … “My soul melts away for sorrow.” Have you ever tried to run or even move swiftly when dead tired, full of sadness, weary from weighty things? The lightness of swift running is very appealing – perhaps especially to escape from the circumstances that lead to these feelings! How does a soul rise from the dust and sorrow? Answer: “when You enlarge my heart!”

I chased this thought around in the scriptures and found other uses:

In Genesis 26, the servants of Isaac and Abimilech quarreled over a well. Isaac dug three different wells and named them “contention,” “enmity,” and “Rehoboth – broad places, room enough” which is the same root word as used in Ps. 119:32. “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” (Genesis 26:22)

1 Kings 4:29: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore.”

Isaiah 60:5 – of the future glory of Israel: “Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.”

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Paul precedes these verses with a list of the marks of a true ambassador of the grace of God including: great endurance, purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God. “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.”

At times it is difficult to figure out what parts of our journey on The Way is our responsibility and what part we must leave to God. In Psalm 119:25-32 do we maybe find some shades of the answer?

Psalm 119:26-27 include telling God of my way, asking God for instruction and understanding, and meditating on His wondrous works. Just as Isaac’s servants had to dig three wells before they had room enough for all to drink, a child of God will continue to work and dig to root out our ways – confessing self-will and sin. Like Solomon we can ask for instruction and then study God’s word to learn His wisdom. Meditating on God’s works may take effort on our part to make the time to quiet the mind and reduce distractions to that one thing.

Then Psalm 119:30-31 contain several statements of commitment: “I have chosen …” and “I cling to…” Endurance, whether in physical exertions or mental activities, is not acquired by passiveness. The same is true of many of the character traits in Paul’s list. Purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, truthful speech develop through continual practice, day after day, year after year, strength built upon strength.

The truly good news, encouragement, and ultimate enlarging come from God’s gracious work. He hears and answers our confessions; He provides and promises the work of His word; His work in the universe is open to the eyes of our heads and hearts! The finished work of Jesus on the cross is the initiation of the new covenant promised that God himself would write the words of His law on our new hearts. The Holy Spirit is given and He enlarges this new heart to overflowing with the forming of our new natures.

There is not a formula answer to the who does what work question; not a guarantee of “If I do X then God will do Y.” I think that is good! I have experienced times when I was unable, or unwilling, to do the work and God graciously provided, but the most profitable times have resulted by deliberate choosing and clinging to God’s word. When I have chosen I been given rewards that truly have enlarged my heart.

Tell Him, ask Him, meditate on His word and works, faithfully choose His ways, and cling to His testimonies. Trust Him to enlarge your heart!


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