A common question among non-believers and, yes, even some believers is – what is the meaning of “God laid it upon my heart” or “God burdened me?” Both of these terms mean God is telling you something He wants you to do. A few of my experiences as a patient volunteer for Hospice is that when “God lays it upon my heart” I had better listen and obey without question.
A sweet lady, we’ll call her Marion, that I visited in her home once a week was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and was living alone. She couldn’t remember the names of her daughters or if she had eaten breakfast but she could remember the hymns she sang sixty years ago. It was a happy time for her each Tuesday when she could tell me stories of singing at church functions around the area with her father and two sisters.
My usual routine was to visit her around ten o’clock. One morning I woke up earlier than usual thinking about Marion. I dismissed the nagging little worry while I did the normal chores around the house…but I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I kept telling myself “I can’t go this early. She won’t even be out of bed!” But when I couldn’t even concentrate on reading the morning paper I finally said “I give up! I have to go see Marion now regardless of the time.”
When I arrived at her house, I found her lying on the floor between her bedroom and bathroom. She had fallen sometime during the night and couldn’t get up. She was in pain and very distressed. It meant calling 911 and trying to keep her calm until the medics arrived. They took her to the hospital, and, fortunately, she had no serious injuries.
I was so grateful to the Lord for calling me where He needed me and for my being able to understand what He had “laid upon my heart.” James tells us in 1:22-25 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the Word and deceive yourself, Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man, who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he heard, but doing it…he will be blessed in what he does.” Be doers of the word, not just hearers.