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Footprints in the sand
Jesus is carrying you through this rough time. (Flickr )

Some time ago, at the recommendation of my doctor, I went to the office of a local cardiology group to undergo an echocardiogram stress test. I had experienced some strong heart palpitations, and the doctor wanted to rule out any serious problems.

When the technicians prepped me for the test, I felt like an android. Electrodes that looked like little suction cups were taped to my upper body, and wires extending from them were attached to machines that carefully monitored the functions of my heart.

Before I got on the treadmill for the stress test portion, I had an echocardiogram. A small instrument called a transducer, which looks like a microphone, was pressed against my chest and moved back and forth. The transducer transmits sound waves into the chest and picks up echoes from various parts of the heart. The echoes produced pictures of the heart that were viewed on a video monitor.

The technician administering the echocardiogram intensely watched the images on the screen. At times, he would turn certain dials that let me hear amazing sounds coming from my heart. Sometimes there was a thumping sound, sometimes a swishing and sometimes a tick-tick-tick.

The doctor joined the technician at various points. They listened and observed carefully while I lay still, while I was walking on the treadmill and while I had another echocardiogram. My pulse, blood pressure and the little squiggly lines on the EKG were monitored as were many other things.

Wow! The thought occurred to me that nobody had ever looked that closely at my heart before.

But as soon as the thought flashed through my mind, I had a beautiful revelation from the heart of God and sensed His tangible presence. I felt as if the Holy Spirit whispered to me, "Angela, no one really knows your heart like I do. I know that you are brokenhearted. I know everything about you."

Tears started to well up in my eyes. The previous weeks had been filled with pain and a lack of understanding about why things were so hard. There were even times when I wondered where God was in all that was going on.

And yes, I had come to the medical offices that day with a broken heart. I was able to put a smile on my face and fool the doctor because he was concentrating on the viral organ in my chest. But God knew my real heart. He knows me intimately in a way nobody else does.

Scripture confirms my revelation: "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far off. You search my path and my lying down and are aware of all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it fully" (Ps. 139:1-4, MEV).

Not only does the Lord know me, but He also cares about me. He was, and is, concerned about my brokenness. In Psalm 34:18 we read, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the contrite of spirit."

If you feel as if your heart is broken, I want to encourage you today. The Lord is close to you! And He knows your heart just as He knows mine. He knows. He cares. He understands. And He has all the power in the world to turn your difficult times into something beautiful. One day you will look back at this challenging time in your life and, like the author of the poem, "Footprints in the Sand," you will see there was only one set of footprints, for God was carrying you!

Prayer Power for the Week of July 17, 2016

Whatever condition your heart is in this week, thank Him that He knows and cares about you and all who are brokenhearted. Put aside fear and approach His throne with boldness as you pray His will over our nation and the nations of the world. Continue to pray that God's people would seek His face, know His will and stand for righteousness. Keep Israel and the persecuted church in your prayers. Continue to pray that revival would sweep across this land and usher in the kingdom of God throughout the world (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 101).

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