There’s a restless heart in me.

It swings from a calloused numbness to a bloodthirst for intensity.  

My heart is responsible for the pushing, the striving, the mouth firing off when wisdom tells me to hush. Determined to get one more razored word in, one tick past the clearly drawn line, one more challenge because the rush of a fight is one that I can’t tear away from my lustful eyes.

There’s a restlessness in me that I cannot seem to tame or filter or water down. Jesus, You see it. It’s tangled and forceful and intense. It’s overly passionate and considerate yet harshly uncaring in the very next breath.

Some days I accept the intensity that comes with the carrying of this sort of heart that demands and stares too long and clutches too tightly. Some days, it’s manageable. It doesn’t always feel like it’ll crush. Some days, even rarely, but still- this intensity is good- even I’ve seen it be good- it produces action and belief.

Other days, I can feel its crushing control leaking out no matter how much I consciously tell myself to hold back. This is life with an arsonist’s heart. On fire, and snaking across built Kingdoms. Flames are difficult to steer.

Other days, still, I don’t care to fight through the leaking out. If this is the me You’ve created, the heart You’ve shaped and placed in this chest- Lord, today just close my mouth and trip me so I stay face down because I’m the hardest person for me to wrangle. If You are with me today, You already know this- that today this heart for arson wants to fight You on every small and big thing. I’m obstinate and won’t tear eyes or fists away. I have to believe that You know this lustful intensity in me- that it’s here for some reason other than destruction, other than sin. I have to believe You know this and see it and that even this heart can be guided, forcefully so, if necessary, towards something good.

I’m learning that these are the prayers I need to pray. They aren’t pretty, and the words don’t come easy. The gut-honest, the often-embarrassing confession of who I am and who I don’t want to be. Not glossing over or watering down but laying this heart bare before a God who knows the wreck I am. When I look at who I am in light of who God is, the stark difference is shocking. But it drives me towards a desperation for Jesus that deepens dependence on Him. I have to consciously remind myself at times that He knows me and sees me and stands unflinching even still.

When the words don’t come, I hope to say ‘Just help me choose You.’

When I’m frustrated with me and am sick of myself because I’ve run from You again, help me say ‘Just help me choose You.’

When I can’t look at my heart anymore because it’s tangled and broken and only begging for more hurt, help me hand it over to You.

When this restless, arson heart strives and pushes and pulls me the wrong way, even if my pride won’t allow the words to come, know that I’m desperate for You.