An Enlarged Heart

23 09 2013

“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be that his head wasn’t screwed on quite right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.” – Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was a philosopher. He nailed the human condition in his stories to children, using simple words and bright pictures to teach us in ways that make us smile and see ourselves in the absurdities of his characters. The Grinch is my favorite.

Everywhere I look, I can see the Grinch. People whose hearts are squeezed tight by bitterness, anger, jealousy, or grouchiness. The size of their hearts gives them tunnel vision. Their misery defines the boundaries of their world. They can’t see past it, and their too-small hearts prevent them from enjoying what is beautiful about the moment they are standing in.

The Grinch makes frequent appearances in my mirror. Worry, frustration, and fear squeeze at my heart making me grinchy with ingratitude. Negative thoughts overflow into whining as I allow my burdens, rather than my blessings, to define how I see others, my circumstances, and even myself.

There is a prayer in the Bible for those of us who suffer with Grinch-itis. Psalm 119:32 says, “I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!” We can ask God to enlarge our hearts. Stop and think about that. We don’t have to be satisfied with shriveled, squeezed, or skimpy. His Word teaches us how to stretch our faith, expand our perspective, and increase our capacity for joy.

My Jesus Resolution today is to ask God to enlarge my heart. Just like the Grinch, my heart can grow. I don’t have to stay stuck with a shriveled soul. Running in the way of God’s commandments is the exercise my heart needs to strengthen what is weak, heal what is broken, and stretch what is squeezed. What kind of commands will make that type of dramatic difference? Love God. Love your neighbor. Rejoice always. Be thankful. Listen. Wait. Follow Me. In the story, the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes in a single day. How much might I grow when I ask God to enlarge my heart to make it look like Jesus?


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