Thursday, November 16, 2017

"The Languishing Heart"

Ezekiel 16.30 NAS

How languishing is your heart,” declares the Lord God, “while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot.”
  • Have you ever slammed a door after an argument? I have.
  • Did you ever say something you regretted? Me too.
  • Has your thought life ever offended God? Mine has.
  • Ever break a promise to your kids? Guilty!
  • Have you procrastinated when you should have taken action? Yes.
  • Did you use your time very unwisely on more than one occasion? Of course I have.
What do all these behaviors have in common? Each one produces inner turmoil. The “languishing” heart is God’s gift to sinners. The Hebrew root verb for “languishing” is 'amal and literally means ‘to droop.’ The word may be translated sick, mourn, feeble, wither, weak, weak-willed, and spent with longing. King David used the word to describe the condition of his heart following his sin with Bathsheba:

“Have mercy on me and be gracious to me,
O Lord, for I am weak ('amal, faint and withered away);
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”
Psalm 6.2 AMP

Whenever I make a wrong choice, I feel it in “my bones,” just like David did. My insides ‘droop’ with despair. I suffer with a “languishing… heart.” The biblical solution for this spiritual condition is called repentance. Repentance, of course, requires humility, something I’m not fully familiar with. Yet humility is the path of healing for the “languishing… heart.”   It’s the path Jesus embarked upon when He “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2.8). It’s the path He chooses for you and me.

“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4.6 NASU from Psalm 138.6

Lord, thank you for the gift of a “languishing… heart” reminding me to begin a new journey on the path of humility. “O Lord, heal me.” I repent. Lift up my drooping spirit. 

The wonderful image above entitled "a broken heart" originally came from a now closed site at Artist is unknown. 


Anonymous said...


Thank you for your teaching and spirit filled encouragement.

Your prayer is inspirational to me, “Lord, thank you for the gift of a ‘languishing… heart’ reminding me to embark on a new path, the path of humility. I repent of my sin. ‘O Lord, heal me’ and lift my drooping spirit.”

This prayer reminds me be grateful that my heart does languish when I have sinned against my brother or sister and that this servers a purpose in my life. I too often run from pain in my life instead of letting God us it as a catalyst for transformation. As you wrote, a humble and teachable spirit is what a languishing heart can give me, if I embrace the hurt and bring it back to my savior. But the best part is that He will not only help teach me but that he will lift my 'Drooping Heart'. The key point here is that my expectation is that God does the lifting, I am not being reliant on the person I hurt to forgive and forget before I can be uplifted. This reliance on God instead of on others for moving forward even after a hurt, will help break cycles of mutual frustrations in relationships.

Thank you for pointing out that God wants to be the one who lifts my spirits and bring me hope. He is not just a passive observer in my life.


Dave Scriven said...

Thanks Michael.