Recently I have been struggling with anger in my heart because of relationships. Friends disappoint me and friends frustrate me. I feel like giving up on friendships. Even though our spiritual struggles are not physical (Ephesians 6:12), sometimes I can literally feel the struggle and I feel as if my soul and heart will be ripped in two. At moments like these, my head is telling me Biblical truths, but my heart is so rebellious and sinful. The only thing I know to do when I’m feeling this way is cry out to God to help me. I cannot change my heart and if left to myself I would destroy myself internally.
But the Lord is gracious and faithful. Tonight He brought to mind Ezekiel 36:25-26, which says, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 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.” This is a comfort to me because it makes me realize that any heart change is done by the Lord’s power, not my own strength and will. It is a reminder that I am only cleansed through the blood of Jesus, and apart from Him I am so weak.
Another detail that stood out to me about this passage is the wording in verse 26. I’ve always thought it a bit strange that it says that He will remove the heart of stone from our flesh and give us a heart of flesh. A heart of stone does not belong in our flesh, even though we are sinful human beings on earth. But we are created in the image of God, and it is right for us to have a heart of flesh, just like it is right for us to be in relationship with Him. And when our hearts and our relationship with Him have been restored, then we are at peace.