Landscape of the Heart
The landscape of the human heart
free from confusion and
The landscape of the human heart
rough and varied,
Its geography is
hard to know,
hard to traverse,
hard to inspect.
Danger lurks in those valleys,
trouble hides in the caves,
twisted pathways leave you lost,
riverbeds leave you thirsty.
It’s fearful to go where
the sun never shines.
But the landscape of my heart
has been invaded,
not by an evil lord,
but by a Savior.
He carries a torch of grace
into these valleys,
shines mercy into those caves.
He does this miraculous thing—
He makes the rough places smooth,
the twisted roads straight,
the valleys bloom,
the streams run with fresh water.
Thistles become cypress trees,
barren soil produces fruit,
peace lives where danger dwelled,
caves now temples of worship.
The valleys sing,
wind whispers praise.
Into the landscape of my heart
the Restorer came
and all things there are
Paul David Tripp
The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Isaiah 55:1-3, 10-13
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
1. How has the landscape of your heart proven to be confused, complicated, rough, and varied? Describe your spiritual journey and the high mountains and low valleys you have been through.
2. How has your heart been attracted and magnetized to crooked paths? Are there any recent examples? When tempted, do you tend to blame your environment only and ignore or minimize the landscape of your heart?
3. What danger and trouble have you run into because of the desires of your heart? What are the consequences that you are experiencing today because of the landscape of your heart?
4. When did the Savior invade your heart? Reflect on your conversion story. What changed immediately? Do you celebrate and meditate on your salvation enough?
5. Where is the Lord making you new each day? Where are your thistles becoming cypress trees and your once barren soil producing the fruit of the Spirit?
6. How can you be more involved in proclaiming the gospel publicly? Where is God providing you with opportunities to share his Word, with both believers and non-believers? What might be holding you back or interfering with your involvement?