It was an early start to a full day with the band of brothers and their wanna-be sister. We hit the ground running with Caroline greeting me at my car door and Graham starting into a science kit.
We were gradually joined by the other two and we have finished our foray into the grand world of slime circuits, played play-do, walked the dog and are currently playing in the blow up pool because hey….the day is young and we have miles to go before we sleep. As in…it’s only 10 A.M.
After nap we are planning on painting these plaster of Paris dinosaurs we molded on Tuesday.
Wow…I sound like this organized, crafty, prepared grandma and I am anything but that.
Activities rarely go the way I thought and I am not loosy-goosey about messes and letting little hands fumble to learn, but I press down my own control freak tendencies and bite my tongue a lot and sometimes forget to bite my tongue and have to apologize for a harsh tone with these little cherubs who are so tightly wrapped in my heart sometimes I can’t even breathe.
So on the way here this morning, I spent a good portion of the driving time, like I do every time, praying for patience and for God to pour His love into me and for me to show them His love in ways they can understand.
And as I was praying and thinking through the various things ahead, I thought about those dinosaurs carefully packed in layers of paper towel. When we made them on Tuesday, we discovered that the dry powder begins to harden super fast and as I mentioned…clumsy little learning fingers don’t always make for the most perfect projects.
I also thought about hard hearts.
Don’t ask me why. It’s just how my brain works and puts threads of ideas together.
God promised to remove hearts of stone and replace with hearts of flesh. He didn’t mean hearts that crave the sins of the flesh, of course, but a soft, beating, blood pumping, possible to literally feel like it is exploding or bursting or breaking when certain emotions fill the soul…that kind of heart.
Rather than a cold, stoney, unfeeling, unbending, unmovable heart of marble or rock or granite or whatever you would associate with a stone.
As I drove and tried to think why I would have these two thoughts come into my brain at the same time, I pictured us trying to work quickly to fill those molds before the goop hardened and couldn’t be used.
I thought of how the soft powder went into the cup but as we dribbled water in and stirred, it began to meld and then quickly become solid. Where as God breathes air into the dust of our humanity, the world adds the substance that will set it hard and immovable.
I thought how I can start out a day with a soft and refined heart, fresh off of reading Scripture and praying and communing and doing some study. But from there other things are introduced into me. My humanity runs into other people’s humanity and we crash.
Old memories, new confrontations, interruptions that mess up the flow, an upsetting bit of news, misunderstandings, derailed plans, a rude driver, being passed over, another rejection…fill in the blank.
I get frustrated, tired, hungry, confused.
And I can being to feel a tightening in my chest.
It’s a struggle but so important to recognize it as the beginnings of hardening.
God also tells us to guard our hearts because it is from our heart that the well springs of life flow. Unless you are Moses and God tells you to strike a rock, water will never flow from hard glob of mineral deposits and grains of sand compounded together.
The world we are living is well stocked with opportunity for you to suffer hardening of the heart. It will take vigilance and a desire to take in deep breaths of the Holy Spirit to keep your precious well spring primed with living water.
It is worth the effort. So worth the effort.