“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
I want a new heart. I long for God to take a chisel and begin the great work of chipping away the crusty layers that have accumulated around my heart. Some of those walls have become mighty fortresses built for self protection and preservation. Others were laid brick by brick made up of guilt, shame, fear and doubt. The heaviness of these wall often press into my chest and make it hard for me to breathe.
The boundaries of our hearts may protect us from being hurt but they also keep us from living a life of beautiful abundance. A hardened heart keeps our relationships at arm’s length. It keeps us from from engaging compassionately in a hurting and broken world. It keeps us comfortable instead of vulnerable. It justifies our turning a blind eye to those in need. Over time, a hard heart leads to us becoming dry, bitter and cynical. Ultimately it depletes our soul. Collectively it leads to crime, lust, corruption and greed. You don’t have to look any further than the daily news to see the profound impact of hearts that have been hardened in this world.
For years I allowed the walls of my heart to keep me from relationships with other women. Past hurts, jealousy and distrust kept me from enjoying the friendships that God had called me in to. I had isolated myself to the point that I thought I needed to move to another city in order to connect to people who were more like-minded. After beginning to fervently pray for authentic community, God showed me that it wasn’t “them” it was me. He led me to a place of humility and vulnerability that ultimately blessed my life with an abundance of rich relationships that I never would have thought possible.
He took my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. Yes, my heart aches at times when I am disappointed by the human nature of others. But the raw beauty of these friendships have been a source of strength and support in my darkest hours and have led me to pursue a deeper passion with my Creator.
Our hearts are God’s masterpiece. It takes a lifetime for the beautiful sculpture to be revealed in the block of stone. With the tender and careful precision of the Sculptor’s hand, our hardened hearts are transformed to a new and beautiful creation reflecting the image of Christ.