Thursday, September 26, 2013

Heart of stone

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:26 ESV

I’ve never seen an actual gallbladder, though I’m almost certain I have one somewhere in my body. It hasn’t given me any trouble. Lucky for me. But I can imagine what a gallbladder looks like—all sort of gnarly and wrinkly like a jalapeno pepper that has been in the vegetable drawer too long. And if it has the dreaded gallstones, it’s gnarly and wrinkly with big ugly lumps. I think that’s what my heart was like before the grace of God brought me back from the land of the heavy hearted.

(I know, I know . . . the jalapenos look good to me too. I just thought it was a more appealing photo than a gallbladder.)
Often I find a verse in the Bible that had never caught my attention before, and today this verse from Ezekiel is the one. This is what God has done for me—given me a new heart and a new spirit. God has renewed me. I was caught up in self-loathing, self-pity, self-absorption. My heart was broken and that was all I could see. Too much self didn’t make life better; it just kept me swimming in the same putrid slime of anger, bitterness, hurt.
I can’t claim my journey is complete. Every day I need to do it again, turn it all over to God, put it at the foot of the cross, and ask Him just to be with me. Life is good when my heart of flesh has found solace in faith in a merciful God.

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