It was as round as a baseball and about the same size. I found this rock, as a young child, during one of our family outings. Its surface bore evidence of the past in the form of fossilized imprints, including leaves and tiny critters. I was fascinated by this rock, its shape, the imprints, and its unknown history.
As with most children, I had a vivid imagination. I had never seen a rock more perfectly round, nor one that held the past on its surface. There had to be even greater treasures within. I imagined it to be a dinosaur egg, or full of rare stones such as diamonds or rubies. I would often borrow my father’s hammer and beat on it, trying to open it. The hammer would bounce off as if the rock was making some kind statement; it was not to be opened. I eventually stopped trying to open it, for fear of destroying what was on the surface.
At times, when I think about the human heart, I think about that rock.
Each of us has been imprinted with a past. Is your heart scarred by the life you have lived? Do you protect your heart, not letting anyone penetrate the surface?
Have you ever felt so scarred and hardened by your past that you have been unable to let go of it? Do you have difficulty allowing your heart to be laid open by God and healed? God wants to know what is in our hearts, and He wants to heal them. He is willing and ready to do so, if you are willing and ready to allow Him.
Just as the hammer bounced off of my rock, do you hear what God is saying to you but allow the words to bounce off, feeling as if you are unworthy?
The Bible is full of examples for us. One example introduces us to a hardened heart changed by God. Saul, who was later called Paul, searched out the Christians of his day. Pulling men and women from their homes, he sent them to prison for their beliefs. He stood by and watched as they were stoned or thrown to the lions, put to death for being followers of Jesus Christ. Yet, God opened His heart and changed him. He forgave him, giving us an example of His grace and then He used him to preach the gospel.
Paul’s heart was not the only heart that needed to be healed. Can you imagine coming face to face with the man who was responsible for the death of your family members or close friends? Could you call him a brother? Through the Holy Spirit, God changes the hearts and minds of men, if they are willing and trust Him to do so. If God could work with the heart of Saul and those whose lives were changed by his actions, He can work with anyone.
The inner thoughts of your heart are personal and at times only you and God can understand the imprints, the thoughts, the fears, and the actions. Trust in Him to change your heart from being as hard as a rock into being something full of His spirit with a willingness to follow Him.