PC: Matt Engelking
If you know me at all you know that anywhere and everywhere I’m always drawn to children. And if there is a baby around I’m the first one to ask if I can hold him/her, especially on the mission field. Holding these children or even standing back and watching them does something to my heart. As I’ve been processing my trip to Haiti a few weeks ago I began to ask myself, “what draws me to them so much?” I asked the Lord, “What it is about their life that speaks so deeply to mine?” And this is what the Lord spoke to my heart:
“It’s their untattered hearts, not yet jaded by the world or experiences, that shape their view of who I Am. It’s these hearts, while they are yet still young, that yield to my perfect love.”
I began to think at how jaded our hearts are from our past, the experiences we walk through, how we are raised, what people say about us and how we define ourselves. All of these thoughts and experiences shape our view of God. We base a lot of our beliefs on what we know from the past. We tend to place God in a box limiting what He can do. We serve Him from wearied hearts and restless souls and at times doubt Him more than we believe Him. We make Him “fit” into what we believe is true. We want this checklist and structure but that is so far from who God really is. I am guilty of this. But what if we all came to Jesus with the heart of a child this year? What if we allowed Him to do something new in us that wasn’t influenced by our circumstances or our jaded hearts? God can remove our hearts of stone and give us a new heart that’s alive and tender again. A heart that’s engaged and able to believe again. One that is influenced by only God as we cultivate an intimacy with Him through prayer, allowing Him to renew our view of Him and speak to us in powerful ways.
I’m not perfect and I’m still learning. I have to stop myself at times when I try to question God and urge my heart to quietly trust. To trust that in those quiet moments He’s reshaping my heart to be more like His. To love like Him. To show grace like Him. To believe in the fullness of His will for my life. Sometimes it’s so simple. Just like that of a child. To be open, fully engaged, and to simply trust and believe without boundaries of holding back. I know over these past couple of weeks I have prayed that God would give me the heart of a child again and it’s amazing to me what a little bit of consistent time spent with God each day can do for my life. If we think about it, prayer and reading the word is the way we come to truly KNOW God beyond what our hearts are conditioned to believe.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 (HCSB)
No matter how impure your life is right now or how jaded your heart is, God offers you a fresh, new start. I pray that over this year you let an intimacy develop with Him that shapes every part of your life.