I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.”
The Psalmist wants us to hold nothing back.
Wants us to shout ‘Hallelujah’ from the highest peak and from the deepest valley. From the brightest day and from the darkest night.
Give thanks to the Lord with our whole heart.
Every inch. Each corner of our heart.
Across our heart’s entire lifetime.
Down every hallway of our heart and inside every room—even those that we keep carefully locked, and sometimes pretend aren’t there.
But, we must unlock those rooms, go inside and turn on the light.
Because we might just find something else.
Something quite unexpected, something wondrous and life-changing.
I know that is what I found.
Down certain hallways and inside particular rooms that I have carefully locked and then walked away from—trying to convince myself that I have moved on from what’s inside them—is where I found the holes in my heart.
The places of deepest pain and sorrow too wide to wade through.
The places that are over my head.
The places that make me feel as if I am drowning.
How, I asked myself, can I shout “Hallelujah!” about the things that had made so many holes in my heart?
How could I possibly give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart for those holes in my heart?
Such a thing is impossible, I told myself. It simply can’t be done.
But then I turned on the light and found there was a way after all. I discovered that I wasn’t alone in that room that I had carefully locked and walked away from. The Lord had slipped in beside me after I’d turned the key, opened the door and stepped inside.
No, I was not alone.
I felt the Lord surrounding me with love, filling the holes of my heart with love.
I was astonished. Amazingly, the holes were where the Lord’s love most truly found me.
A love that flowed into every hole in my heart, filling each of them until the love ran over, and I felt the current of that love taking me away, out of the room, down the hallway.
And I heard the key falling to the floor.
I wouldn’t need it anymore.
The door will remain open. The light always on. The shades ever raised.
The holes, I admit, are still there. Right there in my heart. They always will be.
But they are no longer places to mourn and fear because they are filled now with the Lord’s love.
The holes in my heart truly are where the Lord loves me the most. There, where I am so utterly vulnerable and powerless to resist.
For that I absolutely can and do shout ‘Hallelujah!’ and give thanks with my whole heart.
Every square inch of my lifetime.
Holes and all.
Every single one of them.