A New Heart

OIP

Our great joy walks alongside another’s grief.

Our tears of joy are mingled with the tears of another’s tears of sorrow.

Though it does not diminish our joy, it is a sobering reminder that our God is loving and faithful. But, sometimes, there can be a sadness in the midst of that faithfulness.

At the time of this writing, our family is waiting as one of our great-nieces undergoes a heart transplant, something no one even knew she would need a month ago.  It has been a whirlwind time but one where, when we step back and take even a quick overview, it is so evident that God’s hand and timing are, without question, never late and full of great care.

The reality is that for her to live, one had to die.

Even as we rejoice for this miracle, we grieve alongside the family that had to say goodbye to one they love. I pray that they will know His presence in their mourning and that God will be glorified in both stories, lives redeemed and transformed!

And then I considered it all anew…

This is the Gospel!

For me to a have a new heart, One had to die.

For me to have a redeemed and transformed heart, a sacrifice had to be made.

For me to truly die to self and live both now and in eternity, another life had to be given.

His Name is Jesus!

God the Father had to allow His Son to suffer and die to take the penalty I deserve; Jesus had to give up His rightful position at the right hand of God for me to live.

And, for all who don’t just acknowledge He exists (for “even the demons believe that and shudder” – James 2:19) but call on Him as Savior and Lord, He gives a new heart, a new life, a new way of thinking and desiring, and a new and living hope!

“…I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 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.” (Ezekiel 36:25-26)

My sweet niece’s original heart could not sustain her life here on earth; my original sinful heart could not sustain me here or for eternity.

For me to live, my Savior had to die!

This is the Gospel!

“But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy, unblemished, and blameless in His presence—if indeed you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope of the gospel…” (Colossians 1:22-23)

“…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Our little one could do nothing to restore her heart; her parents, grandparents, and the rest of us could do nothing. Just like us…we can’t earn our salvation; we can’t do “enough” good to secure a right relationship with God, a new heart.

Only our Savior…only His sacrifice.

This is the Gospel!

And so, we watch and wait and pray for physical healing for this little one we love and the heart-aching emotional healing for another we will never meet, even as we long for all to have a new heart in Christ, the only healing that will last for eternity!

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have full endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)