The Crumbling Mess of My Heart
by Sharla Fritz
Ruins everywhere. As I walk the site of an ancient city in Israel, I sigh at the sight of destruction. I see nothing left but stacks of well-worn stone. Tumbled-down walls of rock. Debris from past lives. Remnants of greatness.
These disintegrating leftovers of a town provide a picture of all I don’t want my life to be. I hope for strength, for power, for influence. I’m ashamed to admit my drive for recognition. Although the desires for both success and servanthood compete in my heart, ambition usually wins. The quest for greatness often pushes the yearning for Christ-like humility right out of my soul.
Yet, as I look at the decaying walls, I remember—greatness never lasts. Here, what once thrived now disintegrates into unrecognizable mounds of dirt and rock.
Then, I stop.
I see signs of life even in the wreckage. On top of a pile of rubble, bright-red anemones spring up, green stems swaying in the chilly spring breeze. Traces of beauty dancing on top of a crumbling foundation.
And I think—isn’t that just like God? He takes the ruins of my life—my pride in my work that often deteriorates into failure. The mess my selfishness has made of my relationships. The tumbled-down state of my sinful heart.
Somehow God uses that crumbling foundation to sow seeds of His relentless love in my heart. He breaks up the pride just enough so that His affection takes root. He rains down His righteousness to water the knowledge of His passion for me.
And I begin to realize—accomplishments may draw the attention of the world for a season. I can continue to work to pile up stones of impressive achievements. But the striving will wear down my soul and for what? Time will also erode any signs of my success.
But when I allow the seeds of God’s love to take root in my soul, I begin to trust that He accepts me just as I am. His love begins to bloom and the need to pile up more stones of accomplishments starts to fade. As His love fills my heart, I can offer beauty and grace to the world—qualities much more needed than any wall of greatness I might construct for myself.
Turning to leave the ruins, I offer the crumbling mess of my heart as a place for God’s unconditional love to grow and bloom.
Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of the new book God’s Relentless Love: A Study of Hosea, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace and unfailing love. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor husband. Learn more about living in God’s love at: http://www.sharlafritz.com/2020/11/live-like-youre-loved/