Guard your heart
It was 1:30 A.M. on Friday, December 6, 1991. Patrolman Tommy Garrison of the Byhalia (Mississippi) City Police had pulled over a gray Monte Carlo for no tag on Highway 309. Garrison walked to the car where three men were waiting.
The driver said he didn't have his license with him but knew the number. Then Garrison saw three VCRs stacked in the back seat.
"Where did you get those VCRs?" he asked. That's when all three men got out. The first attacked Garrison with a knife. While the police officer was wrestling with him, a second man pulled a handgun and shot twice.
The first bullet struck the officer in the stomach and knocked him off balance. When the second hit his chest, Garrison was flung to the ground.
The three men jumped back into the Monte Carlo and spun out, heading north toward the Tennessee line. Before they were out of sight, however, Garrison stood up and ran back to his car to put out an all-points bulletin. He was shaken up and bruised, but unwounded.
That morning Garrison had put on one of the department's bullet-proof vests. The seven-year-old vest was two-and-a-half pounds of discomfort and reeked with sweat. Garrison had not been wearing it regularly because it was such as nuisance. But that Friday had been cool, and Garrison had worn the vest all day. And at the critical moment, it had saved his life by guarding his heart.
God warns, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellsprings of life" (Prov. 4:23). In other words, maintain your purity, your integrity, your commitment to the Lord.
Whenever you keep something precious safe, you can cherish and enjoy it, and its value appreciates. The longer we guard our heart—the more time and attention we invest in its care, the easier it is to keep up the watch. The more carefully we guard it, the more secure it will keep us.
Officer Garrison told me that ever since that bullet-proof vest saved his life he has worn one every hour he's been on duty. The rest of the officers on the force were motivated to start wearing them too, but it wasn't long before most of them left their vests at the station once more. When the critical moment comes, they won't be ready.
Guard your heart. Keep it for Jesus alone. If Jesus were to appear before you right now, and you were to ask, "What do want of me?" I believe that He would say, "I want your heart. Just give me your heart."
If He so greatly desires to have your heart, it must be a precious treasure indeed. Guard it carefully.