A Heart Of Flesh

August 4, 2012
by Ron Nichol

Lamentations 3:19-22 – I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (NIV)

Isn't it strange how one of those profound and sacred insights into the all-consuming love and grace of God that overwhelms our very souls seems to build up over time? My last graceful moment started with a very innocuous homily based on the woman who was healed by the Lord after a twelve-year bleeding illness. The commentator went into detail about the social and religious circumstances surrounding her illness and explained the serious repercussions to her: she would have been socially outcast and financially destitute from visiting the many physicians seeking help. The most important point of the lesson was that no man would have touched her for fear of becoming religiously unclean according to the law. A few days later, a Bible website that I use in my daily devotions also posted the same Bible verse, and this time, I felt compelled to make a reply. I simply said, "Even if we reach out in faith and touch the hem of His robe we shall be healed."

Like the woman, I had spent many years seeking help for my desperate emotional and mental condition, brought about by my struggle with years of alcoholism and drug abuse. Even though I had been sober for many years, my passions were still raging out of control. I still suffered from a grave depression arising from a constant war within my conscience, and it was seriously affecting my relationships with God and my wife. I lived in the hope that one day, the Lord would heal me. My constant prayer was for a heart of flesh — a clean heart. However, it was not until one day, out of sheer desperation in my bathroom, that I finally declared in a loud voice, "Jesus Christ is Lord!" and then reached out and touched the hem of His robe. I believe that at that point, Jesus turned and touched my soul, for over the past few months, I have been experiencing the newness of being promised wonderful things in the Scriptures. There must have been significant changes in me, as the elders of my church have asked me to join them on the session.

I whole-heartedly believe that this promise of God in Ezekiel has been fulfilled in me:

Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (NIV)

I urge you to reach out this day, touch the hem of His robe, and receive what Jesus has in store for you.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, send Your Spirit to comfort and empower those who struggle with addictions or need Your healing. Amen.

About the author:

Ron Nichol

Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

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