Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. Ezekiel 36:25-27 NASB
Oh, Lord, how hard my heart once was toward You. The chip on my shoulder was filled with all the things that had happened in my life that I thought You were somehow responsible for, and it was topped with a bitterness as solid as rock.
But You were still with me, still loving me, still knocking at the door of my heart. Patiently waiting for the time to come when I might be receptive to Your voice once again. I heard Your whispers from time to time. I saw Your love for me in a hundred different ways. But still, my heart remained closed.
What caused me to turn against You even after knowing full and well the great sacrifice You had once made for me? All the doors I'd seen You close in front of me; Never seeming to find the one that You intended to open for me. All the tears I cried in grief when I lost those near and dear to my heart; Not being able to see the glory in their coming home to You. All the days when I felt that You had abandoned me; Never realizing that it was actually me that had abandoned You. All the prayers I'd sent Your way that seemed to go no further than the clouds; Never understanding that the answers might hurt me more than help.
All these reasons and a hundred more. Reasons for me to convince myself that it had been You that had damaged my life instead of owning up to any personal blame. Reasons that would allow me to hate You instead of myself.
Though I harbored all this in my mind, You never turned Your back on me, even though I was trying my best to do just that to You. I could still hear Your words of love echo through my soul. Verses that I had learned as a child would come back to me as I wallowed in my bitterness. And though I vowed I'd never re-open the door, I could still feel the vibrations of Your quiet, constant knock on my heart.
Why did You never give up on me? How could You have possibly found it worthy of Your precious time and efforts to romance the stone my heart had become?
I don't know. Only You can answer that question fully. The one answer that You always bring me back to is a fairly simple one: You love me. You love me more than I deserve, more than I could ask for, and more than I could ever return. Even when I might seem to be unlovable to the rest of this world, You never let go of me or Your love for me.
Thank You so much for that love. Thank You for being able to see the hidden gem inside the heart of stone that once dwelled within these chest walls. Thank You for spending Your precious time polishing and fashioning it into the thing of beauty that You have created it to be. May my love for You grow and develop, so that I might return to You the great, vast love that You have bestowed upon me.