Friday, February 4, 2011

Story Bible Moms: A Change of Heart

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 (NIV)

Let me tell you about a change of heart I had this week. Hannah broke something, and it was of the "I'm going to take this apart" variety, definitely not an accident. To say that I was unhappy about it is an understatement. I was downright mad. And I told her so. Want to know what she did? She came over to me, gave me a hug, and said, "I'm sorry, Mama. You not be sad anymore."

Well, I felt my heart a-changin. In that instant, with a two-year-old's sincere apology ringing in my ears, that heart of stone I'd had just minutes before melted away into a heart of flesh. All I could do was return Hannah's hug and forgive her. (Although to be completely honest, I'm still not happy about the broken item and all similar items have been retired to the closet.)

Isn't the verse from Ezekiel like the ultimate change of heart? What would it feel like if you had a heart of stone and God took it and gave you heart of flesh in its place? It kind of makes me think of When the Grinch Stole Christmas, how the Grinch's heart started out two sizes too small, and then grew three sizes. I've always liked the part in the movie where the heart gets so big, it bursts through the frame. Like he suddenly has so much goodness in there, it's too big to contain. I think that's what it would feel like if we had the heart that God means for us to - too much goodness and love and caring to keep it in, so it would just go bursting out all over the place.

That doesn't happen very often, does it? It's kind of easier to keep our nice little hearts in their containers, tidy, private, and unassuming. If we all went around bursting out all over with love, wouldn't that make us a pretty spectacle for everyone to see? But that's exactly the way that God means for us to live our lives. We're supposed to love each other that much. We're supposed to be full of joy and goodness, to the point of just radiating it out to everyone else. What if God took your heart of stone? What would that mean for your life?

Want to know why it works? Just like Hannah's hug and "I'm sorry" changed my heart in an instant, so does our "I'm sorry" change God's. Because - and you know this, moms - that little voice doesn't un-break our stuff, but it sure goes a long way toward making everything all right, doesn't it? And our sincere prayer to God may not undo the things we've done, but as a parent, God hears us with the same love that we hear our own children.

What if this was your prayer this week? "God, change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh." What do you think would happen in your life? Let's try it out, and see...

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