I don’t know about you but it is so easy to put up walls. When I feel like it isn’t safe to trust, I do what it takes to put up barriers and harden myself toward everyone who might be under suspicion. There are also times where I harden my heart towards those who have disappointed me or have done me wrong. Over time I start to loose empathy toward those who need love. I start to miss the signals. Whether I put up walls towards people because of the future hurts or past hurts, I still end up in the same place. I become cold.
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 36:26
Throughout Scripture, even before Christ, God has been wanting to make a vow with me, and you. He keeps saying that He wants to turn my heart that is cold and hard to soft and warm. I can hear His pleading and I am grateful for His persistence. This vow that He has planned is quite amazing actually. He knows that I have tried to keep vows before. “God, I promise I will be good and love people.” or “I messed up, but I promise to make sure I do what you say.” They didn’t work out so well. I failed miserably. It becomes tiring and rather discouraging, knowing that no matter what I do I can’t be like Jesus on my own.
Once I began to see what God was offering me, I began to realize the power in His request. I didn’t have to be strong. He knew before I ever did that I couldn’t keep up. So He set out to offer me His heart. A heart full of pure flowing life. When He gave His life, it was more than Him just proving that He loved me so much. He was giving me something in replacement for my stone cold heart. Each day that I ask Him to change me, to come in and make me new, I can know that I will be a different person. I am a strong person because He is within me.
As a warrior, it would seem that I would want to have that stone heart in order to protect myself against flying arrows and stabs in the back. But God says this isn’t how it is to be. There are no protective measures that I can take to shield myself against pain. And if I try to do this myself, there isn’t a way for me to love others. I find myself spending all my energies on keeping everyone at bay so that I am not wounded. With God protecting me and giving me His soft heart, I can both love and be assured that I am safe no matter what arrows fly.
I know that it is true because over the past couple of years, God has given me wonderful relationships. Because He showed me how He loves me and wants to change me, I can love and be loved. Every day I have the opportunity to strengthen these relationships in different ways. Not by a strong heart, but by one that Christ gave me. Soft. Humble. Warm. Ready to forgive.