I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36: 26
On this 22nd day of November, we are so grateful that God will give us new hearts and new spirits when ours need to be filled with His love, mercy, and compassion for others.
We’ve all heard stories about caring people who have gone out of their way to help someone in great need, and I’m sure, we’ve all wondered what we would do in certain situations. I heard such a story recently, and I couldn’t help but do a little heart and soul searching!
I ran into a friend I had not seen in months, and we began catching up on each other’s lives. She told me about a fall she had a few months ago in a shopping mall on a wet, slippery area and how she injured her leg so badly that it required surgery and took much time to heal.
Thankfully, she is doing fine, but a different lesson – than we might expect – has remained with her. During this incident, she was amazed by how insensitive and uncaring the people around her were after she fell. She said some were literally stepping over her, and no one stopped to ask if she was ok or needed help. Finally a security guard came and told her that an ambulance was on its way, and then he quickly left. She said she made a vow then and there to always help someone in need.
Our world is becoming a different place, isn’t it? Many are concerned with their own lives, they have schedules to keep, and they have little time and no real feelings of compassion, empathy, or love for others they don’t know. They merely want to isolate themselves from the world and take care of their own needs. Their hearts have become hardened because of their own resentment, anger, disappointment, or mistrust of others.
What would we have done? Would we have looked around to see if there was anyone that could possibly help besides us and checked our watches for the time? Would we have considered the situation and wondered what stopping to help would require of us? Or would we have gone running to offer assistance and concern?
In some situations, I think we all have to think carefully and decide what is in our best interest of safety. But in this incident, I think we would have stopped to show our concern and to offer help. But I wonder how many times there have been when I didn’t – because I was too busy or too pre-occupied to even notice that someone was in need.
Hopefully, we haven’t become so cynical and hardened by the world that we don’t care about what others are going through, or we’re not willing to take the time or effort to offer a helping hand. If we have, God wants us to ask Him to change our hearts and to give us a new one. He has lovingly promised to do so, for it is His desire that we “love our neighbors as we do ourselves.” He wants to take our “hearts of stone”, and give us each a more caring one that is always kind and compassionate to others. He wants to give us a new heart and a new spirit filled with His love.
How grateful we can be that God doesn’t care about our past, because it’s not our past that defines who we are. He cares only about the condition of our hearts in the present and who we can become through Him. How grateful we can be that He will take our hearts, our lives, and make us new so that we can show more love, mercy, and compassion to others.
Our most loving God, we give you thanks for giving us hearts and spirits filled with your love and grace for others. May we live our lives in a way that would be pleasing to you. Amen