October 2011

“I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19.

It’s not always easy to love. Some people hurt us, some repulse us, and some simply annoy us. And does our love of God depend on how much He blesses us? It’s a humiliating but necessary realization how very conditional and limited our love is. The Bible is all about love. Jesus sums up the whole law with love: love for God and love for our neighbor fulfill the law. Paul writes that there is nothing greater than love. It transcends everything and without it, all other things are empty. God is love. In His triune being He was love even before He created the world. In some mysterious way, He invites us to become part of that trinity. Us in Him, Him in us, beautifully bound together in love. And yet I sometimes feel so acutely that my heart really is made of stone. I cannot love like I should. And I don’t. One of my greatest fears is indifference; it freezes everything to ice. And yet I use it as a weapon against people, against the world. Sometimes it just takes too much energy and too much effort to relate to people and to this world.  My heart of stone doesn’t engage in others, it doesn’t really care about anything except myself, it doesn’t overexert itself and it doesn’t get hurt. My heart of stone is my greatest enemy. But the promise of this verse from Ezekiel is my liberation. It inspires me to get down on my knees again and cry out to God to remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Give me a vulnerable heart! Give me a heart that can bleed, that can suffer and be shattered into a million pieces! Give me a heart that can love! God has that transforming power! If you are also battling with a heart of stone then know that He can give you a heart of flesh. On our own we cannot love; separated from God our hearts freeze to ice, but when we remain in Him and He remains in us, we as the branches and He as the true vine, He can break our heart of stone and then heal our broken heart so that His divine love that is unconditional and unlimited can flow in our veins, pumping through our new hearts of flesh.

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