A stone heart?
When we come up against the hard or uncomfortable, when something shakes our world, when we feel lost and without direction, or nothing comes out as it should, when we’ve gotten in too deep, what will our heart trust? The God whose face we cannot see, or an illusion, the product of our desires and dreams?
After God freed the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery through astounding miracles, he led them through the floor of the Red Sea without a scrap of mud sticking to their sandals. Once they were safely on the other side, the waves closed in behind them, their enemies lost forever.
Only days later, when the people complained of thirst, God produced fresh water from a rock. When they grumbled from hunger, God rained the bread of angels on them.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t long before they traded a relationship with a God who lead them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, for a heart of stone.
They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
but along with it they got an empty heart.
Ps 106:14-15 MSG
When Moses stayed too long on the mountain, meeting with God, the truth of their heart worship glared in the noonday sun.
They wanted a god they could keep a handle on, understand, and perhaps even control. They tossed all the loot the Egyptians had given them into the pot.
They cast in metal a bull calf at Horeb
and worshiped the statue they’d made.
They traded the Glory
for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull!
Ps 106: 19-20 MSG
Then they partied like there was no tomorrow.
Tomorrow is always a problem, isn’t it? We can handle things on our own for a while, serve our handmade gods: work-hard, do-good, get-ahead, live-well, earn-respect, acquire-things, gain-money, nice-house, great-clothes, good-kids, peace-at-any-price, perfect-yard, attend-church, please-people, no feelings-no pain, self-medicate. . .
whatever we go to when our hearts are restless,
when today is not enough,
or the pain is too long.
A heart of stone.
An empty heart.
No fair, we say.
We didn’t drink miracle water from rocks.
No one gave us the bread of angels.
How long has it been since God showed up?
When I can’t see God, will I fill my heart with things I can see or do?
Or will I remember.
Remember that he knew me in my mother’s womb.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made! Ps 139:13-14 MSG
He has plans for me, not to harm me, but to prosper and defend me.
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD’s Decree. Jeremiah 29:11-14 MSG
He has provided deliverance from whatever pursues me.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side. Ps 23:4 MSG
He leads me to the rock that is higher than I.
Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I.
Ps 61:1-2 ESV
And he feeds my soul
O my soul, bless GOD,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. Ps 103:1-4 MSG
When we chose to remember, we chose to trust the God we cannot see.
Who holds us in the palm of his hand.
Protects us on the shadow of his wing.
Provides everything we really need.
And loves us.
We trust he loves us.
In our trust, our heart of stone is traded for a new heart. A heart that sees.
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. Ez 36:26 NIV
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.. . . Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
Phil 4: 19,23 MSG