BY: MARK HAUTH
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” — Psalm 108:1
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Many years ago, I collaborated on a song with a co-writer friend of mine, Michele Wagner, entitled, “Steadfast Heart.” Singer Kelly Nelon Thompson picked it up and recorded it, although it was never a radio hit. Chances are you’ve never heard it, but the song had the chorus lyric:
A Steadfast heart, anchored in Your love
Steadfast heart, keeping me sure of what’s really right
The way I need to live
Only You can give me a steadfast heart – © 1989 Meadowgreen Music Co.
It was a statement of faith and of life as I wanted it to be — not necessarily as things were. You see, our hearts, left on their own, are terribly un-steadfast — towards God, towards others, and towards ourselves. Many times my own heart has been tested through fiery circumstances and found wanting. Being a husband, a dad to four children, and an employee at a publishing administration company presents unique challenges and temptations — temptations to not be at my best, to be lazy or apathetic. I don’t always measure up to God’s standard of faithfulness.
When I think of the word “steadfast” several images pop into my mind:
-an old oak tree in the midst of howling winds that remains standing, though bending and swaying in all directions
-a family dog that happily greets you when you walk in the door after a long day at the office
-Hans Christian Andersen’s tin soldier that remains dutifully at its post no matter what
-the father in Jesus’ story expectantly watching from his window to see if today will be the day his lost son will make his way back home
These are but reflections of the God who is truly steadfast towards us regardless of what we’ve done. So how can we learn to be steadfast and cultivate faithfulness towards God, others, and ourselves? I think the key is found in the last line of the chorus — only God can give us a steadfast heart. It must come from outside of ourselves. It must come from joyfully and daily surrendering our lives to Him, the Steadfast One. If we will do this, the day will come when we hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Having a steadfast heart doesn’t mean you don’t falter in the journey sometimes. It just means you repent, get right back up and keep loving God, following Him, and serving others, realizing it’s not done in your own strength but in His.
PRAYER: Lord, we long to increase in faithfulness to You. Help us to receive Your gift of a steadfast heart as we continually submit our lives to You.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mark lives in the Hermitage area with his wife of 26 years, Wendy. They are both quickly becoming empty-nesters. Several years ago they recorded an album, incidentally titled, Steadfast Heart. They have been attending Life Assembly since about 2008. He still enjoys songwriting, composing instrumentals, playing keys, guitar and trumpet/flugelhorn, and recording at his home studio. Check out his FlugelHymns project on iTunes!