Hardness, “the resistance to deformation”, is an interesting phenomena. We know that diamonds are very hard; you can scratch glass with a diamond. On the Mohs Hardness scale, a diamond is a 10 (very hard) and talc is a 1 (very soft). Shall I go on ? Well, often things get harder over time. For example, “concrete” hardens and gains strength as it hydrates, taking 24 to 48 hours to dry enough for you to walk or drive on, but taking ~28 days to reach its full effective strength …. but still continuing to harden for up to several years. Wow!!! I’m guessing that’s more information than you’re interested in, but if you plan on writing your name in wet cement, you now know you better hurry.
Let’s move this BLOG into another gear. How about the hardening of our heart. Something happens to our heart as we make choices. If we choose the ways of God and choose to love, our heart tend to soften and become more pliable and vulnerable. We become more and more like the Lord and take on his characteristics….” more patient and kind, not irritable, arrogant, and rude ….. not insisting on our own way.” (1Cor. 13:4-7)
On the other hand, as we resist God and his ways, things go the other way. Our hearts can become hardened. C.S. Lewis reminds us that,
“to love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” (C.S. Lewis, “4 Loves”)
Every time we hear the word of God, every time we hear God’s offer of forgiveness and we reject it, our heart gets a little harder. As we continue to say no to his offer of love, we dig our hole a little deeper and it gets more difficult to get out of it. Think of pharaoh in his dealings with Moses….talk about a hard heart.
I would say that all of us have hardened our hearts against the Lord over the years at one time or another…. in small ways and in big ways. Yet there is still good news. The Lord does not give up on us. We read today in Ezekiel that “the Lord derives no pleasure from the death of the wicked… rather rejoicing when he turns from his evil way that he may live.” (Ez. 18:21-28) God is constantly reaching out to all of us ready to forgive our sins and welcoming us into his family. No matter where we find ourselves today, the Lord is ready to rescue us and pull us out of the deep hole we’ve dug, and begin to soften our heart.
Yet, this is serious business and we should not “kick the can down the road”. Today is the day of salvation. “If today you hear his voice harden not your heart.” (Ps. 95:7)
Let’s chose God.