It was New Year’s Eve, and I being fifty, was seated alone, in our leaving room on the couch. I had worked that morning, installing kitchen shelves, and my wife beat me home. She works at a dentist office. She was busy in the kitchen. She had prepared a special dinner. She laughed at me, “You are going to love this.” She continued, “I wanted to put out candles, but I know you say you hate eating in the dark.”
“Hon, if you want candles, put out candles,” I said. Over the years I have learned to be more careful about what I say. I was amazed when I thought, “younger me” had ever uttered those words to an excited wife who had prepared a special dinner. Lori couldn’t find any proper candles and so I grabbed the now almost burned out Christmas candle and added it to our table. She had made lobster and scallops and shrimp. It was delicious.
Our, now grown, children had all disappeared to friend’s houses and parties and so Lori and I relaxed by the fire and decided to watch a movie. I picked a “chick-flick” to make it less painful for her. Lori doesn’t enjoy watching movies. We watched a movie but we kept receiving phone calls. In one of the interruptions as Lori wished a Happy New Year to a family member, I sat alone on the couch and contemplated the past year. God has been so good to us. I know it sounds cliché, but it was true. I thought about the coming year. Although my heart is honestly filled with anxiety, I am learning to push that down and buoy up hope in Him. As clearly as someone speaking a verse popped into my head, “Remove this heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh….”
Sure, I have heard that verse before, but I haven’t heard it recently. I haven’t heard a sermon on it or listened to a song with those words in the title. “From whence did this come…” I smiled, knowing that my Heavenly Father was whispering to me. For those of you that are new in your relationship with God you will see that He delights in speaking in a still, small voice. It became very clear that this was something He wanted me to meditate on and ponder for this coming year. And so, this is my thought for you this New Year. What is the condition of my heart? Is it tender toward others and toward the things of God or has it grown hard and stony. I hesitate to reveal to you the condition of my heart, but you can infer what you will from what I have shared hitherto fore.
This year, it is my prayer that God will take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Once I lived to tell people about Jesus and talk with them about God. Sadly, I haven’t seen that lad in awhile. I long to see him again. I am praying God allows me to become that excited-sharer again.
The reference is from Ezekiel 36:26. Again whether you are an Old Christian or just exploring what it means to be a Christian, I will let you look it up. It will be such a wonderful surprise for you. Write to me if you have questions or post comments about what this means to you in 2019. Perhaps God has “whispered” something else to you that you would like to declare. If we don’t talk about the things God talks to us about…the Devil, and his minions have a way of “snatching them away” and then we walk about feeling as if God never talks to us at all. I assure you..He does…its just that often He whispers.
For more on “A Stony Heart” consider this old sermon from 1862. http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0456.htm