If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts... Hebrews 3:15
My mom was a wonderful cook and she insisted that I learn to cook when I was young. She would say, “Supper doesn’t just appear, somebody needs to do the work and if you’re old enough to reach the top of the counter you’re old enough to do the work!” Now before I tell this little story, I have to point out that I could only reach the top of the counter because I was standing on a chair! I was in the first grade and she thought she’d start me out with something simple…biscuits. Let me also point out that Bisquick was NOT involved in this lesson! I’m still not sure what happened (probably because I was 6) but the biscuits I made were probably even too hard to be used for a puck in a professional hockey game! I’m not sure there has ever been a harder biscuit made!
I was in church last Friday and the kids began to sing. A few words of the song hit my heart like a truck and barreled through my ears like a freight train. The words that got me said, Lord take the hardness from my heart, roll away the stony part, heal me with a love that’s true… I’ve sung that
song dozens of times and it never got me like that… God was tapping me on the shoulder. I thought about it all day and still not being clear about things I decided to stop in church after school and just sit in the silence and see if He could help me figure it out. I closed my eyes and immediately saw a bright, colorful, vivid picture of…get this…the stone rolled away from the tomb of Jesus. I just love it when God whaps me upside the head like that. I think His message was, “Sheri, I can’t show myself to you with that big ‘ole rock covering your heart! I want your WHOLE heart so ask me to roll it away!” I realized that my “stony part” was keeping me from trusting Him completely…it’s the thing that stands in the way…the thing that I think I can carry all by myself leaving His schedule clear to work on things like curing cancer or restoring world peace. Not true! I can’t move it alone! Neither could the women at the tomb on Easter morning, moving that stone away took the power of the Risen Christ. The good news is He’s here to roll back the stones covering our hard hearts so He can reveal His glory to and through us.
Well, I’m here to tell you that my stony part is as hard and useless as those biscuits I made when I was 6! This scripture passage says clearly, if today you hear his voice…well I heard it loud and clear! He pointed out my hardness five times in the month of January in very profound ways and I tried to ignore Him. Then dog gone it, 230 kids started singing that song last Friday with their beautiful, pure, innocent voices and I realized after my Friday afternoon chat in church that I couldn’t leave that stone there any longer and I certainly couldn't move it on my own. It’s taken me almost a week to write this post because I wasn’t sure I had the guts to put this in print, which is really kind of silly because my “stony part” is right there for everyone to see…it’s all my pudgy ,squishy little rolls and dimples. I can trust and follow God to do all kinds of things like speak, teach and write but I don’t seem to have enough faith to know He’ll help me tackle this out of balance relationship I have with food. I keep tryin to roll that stone away all by myself but one quick glance can tell ya how that’s workin for me!
When I wrote my New Year’s post I set out to change my lifestyle and take hold of my health in the year leading up to my 50th birthday. Well, I promptly gained five more pounds and in total exasperation scribbled in my prayer journal…God, make this your problem not just mine…show me how to honor this body you created so I can do the work you have for me in this life. Since that day, I have had 5 links to stories written by authors and women I respect all pertaining to exactly that request. Each time I read one, I was mildly motivated but still that hard heart said things like “it’s too hard” or “God loves me just the way I am…I am wonderfully made”. That statement is true but I was completely using it as an excuse not to fix the problem. The last two articles were the ones that tied it all together and made the bells and whistles go off last Friday when the kids sang. One was a column that bluntly pointed out the cold hard fact that no matter what you’re trying to accomplish you simply have to “do the work!” and the other was about getting nothing if you do nothing. During the month of January I have been praying for and following the adventures of the very wonderful Lisa Hendey, founder of Catholic Mom.com as she embarked on the Whole30 challenge. (Whole30 challenge, whole9life.com) I remember thinking…NO WAY could I do that. But every time I turned around I would see or hear something more about it. I have also read, seen or heard several times this month, if you’re doing something new, different or substantially challenging in your life, tell everyone so they can pray for you, support you and hold you accountable.
I’ve been tryin to roll away this stone for a couple decades and now I realize it’s the thing that’s standing between God’s will for my life and my stubborn, selfish nature. I have no choice but to do the work so He can take away the stony part and heal me with His true love. I’m tellin ya though…this is going to be a battle extraordinaire! It involves bad habits, attitude, stubbornness, a wee bit of self-pity and a chubby woman who LOVES potato chips and chocolate. This Whole30 challenge is a doozey but I believe I’ve been led to this spot at this time for a reason. I’d appreciate your prayers…I’m sure there will be times during the next 30 days when I think even those biscuits I made when I was 6 would taste good. So beginning February 1st…let the stone rolling commence!
A Seed To Plant: Take time this week to sit in the silence and ask God to show you the stony parts that need to be rolled away in your life.
Blessings on your day!
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