Daily Devotions

A heart of flesh

February 4, 2022

“I will remove…your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Eze 36:26 NIV

 

When you have been hurt, it’s easy to put up barriers. But be careful—a protective shell can turn into a “heart of stone”: resistant, unreceptive, impenetrable even to God. One Christian author writes: “The only thing more painful, and with…more serious ramifications than a broken heart, is a frozen one…Paul warns us [about]…allowing our hearts to harden. ‘They are darkened in their understanding…separated from the life of God…due to…hardening of their hearts’ (Eph 4:18 NIV). A soft heart is not weak or naive. To the contrary, wisdom, experience, and faith make for a strong heart, weathered by compassion and seasoned with mercy. A hardened heart is not protected, it’s merely encased in injury, and it is painfully obvious to everyone but you…After a weekend that felt like one painful test after another, I called my best friend in tears. ‘Why won’t this end? How strong does God want me to be? I can’t take it anymore!’ Being a godly woman…she replied, ‘Perhaps it’s the other way around. You have been strong enough. God wants your heart to be soft and open.’ I hadn’t thought of it that way. In response to heartbreak, betrayal, or shame, it is…easy to develop a heart of stone. We think this will protect us from…more pain. The problem with stone is…it feels nothing—no pain, but no love. It is a trap that feels like self-preservation, but it is actually self-destruction. [God] wants to give you a heart of flesh. With His love you can emerge from a painful season of loss with a heart that is yielding, porous, and ready to receive the gifts He has…for you.”

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