A Heart of Stone
The world that we live in can often cause us to grow calloused and cold. We see so much violence and hatred that we often become conditioned to it. Terrible things seem to no longer shock us or impact us and as firefighters we treat the dilemmas of our own lives with a ‘tactical-practical’ mentality. Therein lies an inherent danger of becoming removed from ourselves.
Before long, we wonder if we can even feel anything at all. In an effort to protect our hearts we have actually cut off the source of life and warmth. Consider the words of God in this case:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36: 25-27)
The power of God within us causes us to be vulnerable, to be more than we can be on our own, and to be painfully real to those around us. This is far from comfortable nor easy. It causes us great difficulty because even though we are brave and face down chaos we are often fearful of showing our true selves to others.
Consider the great needs of those around us; as they are also seeking sincerity, truth, and genuine love.
Can they find what we withhold?
Can others see Christ in us when we have built walls of stone around Him in an effort to protect ourselves?
Our efforts to protect ourselves may be limiting and harming other’s by withholding God’s love.
The world will often hurt us but dear friends it is when we are broken and real that people see our true faith. We cannot be two persons; personally and then professionally. The longer we hide our true selves we will find ourselves in inner torment.
May we call upon God and ask for a new Spirit, His Spirit, to be placed in us. Call upon Him for the courage to be real and share our wounds, our brokenness, and most of all His love.
Firefighters claim the phrase that we are ‘combat ready’ but the challenge that is before us is to be spiritually prepared for battle. For if we call upon His strength, and are filled with His Spirit, and are wrapped in His Armor there will be no falsehood in us. This way the world will see Jesus in us and that is who we are truly meant to be.
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries