by Brenda Kis
I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
“Stone drunk,” “a stony expression,” “etched in stone” are phrases that indicate something hard, unchangeable, and seemingly permanent.
Stones are the solid stuff of buildings and highways and landscapes. They form mountains and memorials, fences and foundations, even works of art. But there are places where stones are unwelcome, and one of those places is the human heart. The symbol of an impenetrable spirit, stony hearts build walls to shut out undesirable emotions and unwanted relationships.
Often, hard-hearted individuals have been deeply wounded by injustice or lost love or betrayal that cut so deep they determined never to let such a thing happen again.
The child who is mocked or bullied, the rejected spouse, the battered victim, the one falsely accused by a friend – these are all “factories” that can produce profound hurt, then anger, then stone-hard bitterness. A stony heart is the end product; a heart that eclipses all real joy and personal growth.
A woman with a devastating past had forged a reputation in her neighborhood as a despicable person. Angry and mean-spirited, this 90-year-old seemed to delight in making others feel miserable. Her whole life had been swallowed up in vengeance and bitter loneliness.
But today she is allowing God to break down the walls she put up as He makes the great exchange – changing her stony heart for a heart of flesh.
I want a heart of flesh, tender and open, so I can live joyfully, allowing life’s pain to make me better, not bitter.
I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.