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Transforming Hearts of Stone

Thus says the Lord God: Because, yea, because they made you desolate, and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk and evil gossip of the people;

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

(Ezekiel 36:3, 26-28 RSV)

The prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures are filled with examples of the Jewish people turning away from God, repenting, and God’s hurry to embrace them.

Perhaps your life experiences caused you to turn away from God in the past. Maybe you’re even struggling with it now. When you’ve been the brunt of religious and social persecution, it can be hard not to be angry with God for permitting it. Pulling away from everything associated with the things which have hurt you so deeply is understandable.

If you’ve done that, or if you are in the midst of it now and reading this book in hope of re-engaging in active relationship with God, please know that your Creator is waiting like the father of the Prodigal Son. God knows the pain it’s caused for your heart to have to be hardened so that you can simply survive.

We have a God of transformation. One who knows the times you have been desolate, crushed from all sides, and gossiped about. One who sees you, knows you, and desires freedom and wholeness for you.

As you go through the transitions which permit you to live authentically, remember God’s promise in this passage. God is with you in it and through it. They want to create in you a new heart to go along with the other newness you are experiencing. And they want you to remember that you are God’s people, and that they are your God.

We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.

Kahlil Gibran


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