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Father Filtered Heart

For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife. -Proverbs 30:33 ESV

I’ve found my new secret place. Although, it isn’t a secret. Tucked away in the forest of Florida’s Oleno State Park lies a grey-weathered oak bench overlooking a river bank. This spot immerses you in a sea of delightful treats for the senses. The wind sweeps through with ease, cooling the air. Squirrels rustle through the trees and birds flutter about, serenading visitors with their songs. The beams of light filter through the trees, allowing the turtles and gators alike to warm their bodies. 

This spot is unique from the rest of the river, displaying a group of rocks splayed across the stream. Upstream, the water is calm and quiet. The current stands still reflecting foliage and sky off its glassy surface. The water begins to ripple before breaking through the rocks. Dispersing on the other side into choppy white streams, the water now holds a  different temperament. The same water that moments before spoke serenity, now reveals a loud bustle powered by the steady force hidden beneath. 

Much like a river, sometimes we don’t know the hidden temperament of our hearts until we encounter a challenge. When things are going smoothly, it is easy to operate in love. The trials in life are purposed to reveal and refine our hearts. 

A good example of this is found in Luke 22:31-34 when Jesus tells Peter that Satan demands to sift him like wheat. Jesus assures Peter he had prayed for him and Peter would be used to strengthen his brothers in Christ. Peter did not believe he could betray Jesus, he quickly vowed he was ready to follow Jesus to prison or to death. 

What a bold, heartfelt, and beautiful claim! Many of us can likely see ourselves in Peter. We have a zealous love for Jesus and every intention to serve Him without waiver. Jesus knew Peter would waiver and He knows when we will too. 

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. -Mathew 15:18 ESV

Peter didn’t know that fear still lingered in his heart but Jesus used the story of the three crows to reveal and refine Peter’s heart. Jesus had it all laid out before it ever happened, He knew Peter would deny Him and used it for the good of all of the brothers within his influence. 

Did you know, as natural barriers, rocks trap large impurities and debris? Depending on the composition, rocks can also contribute to chemical filtration. According to National Minerals(2024), “certain minerals present in the gravel may help neutralize or absorb contaminants, enhancing the overall purification process.”

After passing through the rock barrier, the stream is left with purified water that will serve the essential needs of the woodland creatures. The same is true of our hearts after enduring trials. These experiences serve as opportunities to surrender the parts of ourselves that still operate in the flesh. Through the surrender in the circumstance, Christ purifies our hearts to become more like Him.

There is something powerful about getting advice and encouragement from someone who has been in your struggle. Since they understand, we are more likely to listen and learn from their experience. We are purposed to be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ, just as Peter was. Our trials will become a testimony with the power to bring life.

This purification process is not easy. It is painful, frightening and leaves us asking why. But there is a blessing hidden here. When we don’t understand and we choose to seek Him for answers, we get to know God more intimately. The beauty of His character is something to marvel.

The more our hearts reflect the heart of Christ, the more trustworthy we are to serve His purposes and the more authority He will give us to do so. As Paul would say, take joy. It’s all a part of the plan. Instead of operating in fear as Peter did, let’s trust, surrender, and be expectant for the good that will follow.

Remember to prioritize firsthand Bible reading every day, only the Word has the power to transform. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

National Minerals (2024) The Role of River Gravel and Pebbles in Water Filtration Systems,

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Your devotions evoke beautiful emotions and feelings. Feelings of peacefulness and solitude while learning to love our God more through the teaching of His word.

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Thank you so much, miss you!


Another amazing devotional. I've said it be fore but they way you speak is beautiful both in voice and written word. I could list to you all day, my friend.

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Thank you sweet friend, that means the world!

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