In Southern California, our “white” Christmas was only white because of the sand! This manger scene built on the beach is about as “Christmassy” as we can manage close to the waves of the ocean. Perhaps it will last a bit longer being put together with stones. However, it is a sure thing that it will disappear. Perhaps, two days after Christmas, the feelings of peace and joy have already disappeared as well.
Today’s verse says that our hearts can be made of stone. Hearts made of stone are stubborn, resistant and unresponsive to God’s voice. This heart may occasionally feel a taste of that peace and joy at Christmas time. But it is generally hard with self-protection. Having a heart of flesh can make one vulnerable to hurt. However, a heart of stone can carry one through life without being broken. A heart of stone will not feel guilt or conviction either. A hard heart made of stone can be proudly self-sufficient.
Every time I move away from the Lord by neglecting His Word and prayer, I feel my heart start to harden around the edges. The longer I allow this to continue, the more difficult it is to get back to that soft heart of flesh that listens and obeys. It is with a heart of flesh that I can experience the peace and joy He offers. It is His new spirit within me that makes me open to His love. Living with a stone heart is not life at all.
Lord, keep my heart soft towards You today.