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Tenderheartedness

I recently watched an old music video of Keith Green, a Christian  pianist, singer and songwriter.  Beyond his music, Green was best known for his strong devotion to God and his open challenge to others to live radical lives for Jesus. He died in a tragic plan crash in 1982 but left a strong legacy.

In this video, he was speaking of a time when he was feeling distant from God . .  so he prayed.

Lord, You’ve got to do something.  A lot of time has gone by since I met you and I feel like my heart has hardened.  I want to have baby skin, Lord. I want to have skin like a baby on my heart. Mine’s starting to get old and wrinkled and callous.” 

Very early that morning, Keith wrote one of his most famous songs – O Lord, You’re beautiful.”

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I see,
For when your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me
I want to take your word and shine it all around
But first help me to just, live it Lord
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving glory to you
Oh Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clean
Replace the lamp of my first love
That burns with holy fear.Having recently experienced the birth of a second grandchild, I distinctly remember unwrapping her cozy blanket the next morning so I could see and feel her beautiful little body. There is nothing like the feel of a newborn’s skin – new and creamy, soft and delicate, unwrinkled and flawless.”Oh, to have skin like a baby on my heart” – soft and malleable.Life has a way of hardening our hearts over time, doesn’t it? Disappointment. Rejection. Dismissal. Unloved. Betrayed. Jealousy. Woundedness. Over the years and the pain, our heart can become calloused and unresponsive.

But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ Jeremiah 18.12

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Faith is the surrendered positioning of a tender, dependent heart – the opposite of resistance and self-reliance.

Newborn skin on an aging heart.

Here is what God promises in Ezekiel 11.19-20. “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

There is always hope and healing for the hardened heart.

 

 

 

 

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