Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. It is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” – C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
I recently ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years. I asked him how he was doing, and he said, “Well, did you hear about my experience in Africa?”
“No,” I answered. “What happened?”
He said, “I was flying from the U.S. to Zimbabwe, and I had a layover in Cairo for a few hours. While I was there, I decided to have my massive heart attack.”
Right there in the airport. Two hours earlier or two hours later, and he would have died in flight. But in Cairo, the doctors were able to save his life. His widow-maker artery was 98 percent occluded. He said, “Who knew? I had no idea. One moment I’m feeling fine, and the next minute I’m fighting for my life.”
It’s amazing how hardening of the arteries can sneak up on you, isn’t it? We are oblivious to its happening. It’s even shocking to find out that men and women who look so healthy on the outside have suffered from hardening of their hearts. And this isn’t just a physical truth but a spiritual truth as well.
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” - (Hebrews 3:7-8)
There are many, many ways our hearts can harden toward God without our noticing. Perhaps it’s a financial thing or a sexual one. Maybe you’re dealing with personal pain and thinking, If God really cared, He’d fix this. And until then, you’re fine with inviting Jesus into some areas of your life, but not others. You’re struggling to trust Him, and this is the symptom of a hardening heart, my friends.
So the Spirit says today is a very important day. We can decide what our response will be. We don’t have to experience a hardening of our heart toward God. It truly is a choice.
Lord, examine my heart – I can’t see if there’s hardness, but You can. Guide me toward a faith based upon Your grace rather than my performance. Give me courage to invite You into the most secret spaces, trusting Your presence in these areas of my life. Amen.
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