“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV
I will never forget February 18, 2014. On that day I felt like Job, as my life changed radically in one day. It started with a thud as I fell on the ice when I took the garbage out. I fell hard and was in much pain. Hurting, I went to work. Once I got there, one of my colleagues told me that my friend and coworker Charlie West had been taken to the hospital, and that it didn’t look good. He was pronounced dead later that morning. I came home early, very sore and sat on the edge of my bed. My nephrologist called and told me my lab work was bad and that he was going to set up an appointment with a vascular surgeon to create a dialysis fistula. My world shattered.
Before the end of that year, I started dialysis, as a machine now did the work of my own dead kidneys. After three years, I received a transplant. A new kidney was placed in my body. The processes that had lain dormant, began to happen. My body was alive again.
In the passage above, I think of a heart transplant. The heart is essential for life: when it stops, we stop. It is also essential in the spiritual life. In my life before Jesus, I truly had a heart of stone. I felt little and cared less. Years of rejection and emotional abuse by others had created an autonomous, fortress like personality, that really needed no one. I felt little connection to others.
A series of events and people began to erode the fortress, causing the walls to tumble down. The world that I guarded, had shattered, leaving me needy and off balance as I struggled to adjust. I didn’t know how to live in this new reality. I limped around emotionally, not quite able to maintain any kind of normalcy. It was like I was on emotional dialysis, having just enough function to keep me from dying.
I remember when I got the call for a transplant. I was in the middle of a dialysis session. I sat there, having just finished my prayer chair for the day, when my phone rang. In that moment, there was instant transformation. Just as that fateful day shattered me, my life was now being reconstructed.
Going back to the time when my emotional fortress shattered, I received another call, this one from God. I received the invitation, I raised the hand, walked the aisle, was renewed. Just like my new kidney, there were complications, there was pain, and every step forward was occasionally followed by a step back. But, overall, my life was changing for the better.
Each day I marvel at this new heart of flesh within me, I am amazed at the joy I experience. In my darkest times, I am able to focus on the Lord and I see all situations through Him. In trial, I have peace. Worries are few as I know that my God is in control of all things that I may encounter. He is a glorious God.
Believers, you have been given a heart transplant. He has made you new. You have a reservoir of power that you can tap into, in any situation you may face.
He has also given you His Holy Spirit. God in you! You can face life with God going before you. I challenge you to seek the Lord today in word, in prayer, and in worship.
When I received my new kidney, I had a new beginning. When I received Christ, I had a new future: eternity in Heaven. I also new that I had a new me. I was never going to be the same again.
Nonbelievers, there is a call waiting for you! There is a new heart, one of flesh. There is also a new future. When the call comes in, answer!