Listen to this devotional:
Ezekiel 36:26 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (KJV)
Before World War II, my father had been sensitive and loving. Afterward, he emerged among the walking wounded. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. As a sleepwalker ambles in the night, so nightmares about being attacked caused my father to pummel my mother in the night. Likewise, his use of discipline morphed into the war relived. When the pain could no longer be borne, my young heart hardened. Consequently, for many years, sorrow was swallowed down. Then as an adult, sorrow nearly swallowed me.
Years later, during the viewing of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, tears flowed as I looked upon Christ hanging on the cross, bearing our sins and sorrows. The enormity of God's heartbreak struck home. As I viewed the brutality of Christ's suffering for humanity's inhumanity, the psychological dam holding back years of tears burst. Healing streams of Jesus' blood flowed through my stony heart, softening it into a warm, beating heart of flesh.
Perhaps swallowed-down sorrow has hardened someone's aching heart. Perhaps sin — our own or someone else's — has set a sorrowing heart like cement. Perhaps it has felt as if sorrow swallowed our soul.
Friends, the remedy is found at the foot of Christ's cross. With a deep desire for a change of heart, true repentance becomes our experience. Then we find that Christ's shed blood will replace our stone-hard hearts with hearts of flesh, as our sins are washed away. God will put a new spirit within us, His Holy Spirit. He will keep our hearts soft, supple, and loving. Then our healing tears will gather and freely fall as our crying eyes indicate a supple heart.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we bring our sins and sorrows to the foot of the cross. We admit our need and ask for Your forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We turn our will and our life over to You and ask for Your Holy Spirit to abide within us. Thank You for giving us a supple heart of flesh which enables Your love to flow through us to others. Amen.