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home : religion : religion December 10, 2019

11/10/2019 11:54:00 AM
Soften Your Heart
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

Recently I was with my grandsons playing with Play Doh and I noticed that some of it had dried out and was too hard to mold. When I came to a piece that was like rock, I put it to the side because it seemed like a waste to throw it away. Could Play Doh ever be made soft and pliable again? To my surprise I found out that it is possible to make it like new if you are willing to be patient by adding one drop of water at a time and waiting for it to sink in. Over time if you do it right, gradually the Play Doh will soften up and you can begin molding it again. The process takes a long time, and for most people it is easier to throw away the hardened pieces and buy more Play Doh. Like Play Doh, our hearts can get hard and God can’t do anything with us but thank goodness He is more patient than we are.

The prophet Ezekiel was a priest in Jerusalem 600 years before Christ. For six years he warned the Jewish people about the dangers of turning away from God by worshipping idols. Their hearts were hard, and God couldn’t do anything with them. When Babylon conquered Jerusalem in 597 BC, Ezekiel was taken into forced exile in Babylonia along with most of the Jewish people he had been warning. Twelve years later Ezekiel was still speaking on behalf of God in Babylon but now his message was changing. Rather than warnings about God’s judgement, he brought good news. God was not going to throw them away. God was ready to start over again with his people.

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Ezekiel 11:19-20
19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

God was ready to work with his people again but to do that he had to give them a new heart. Their old hearts were like stone and he couldn’t do anything with them, but God did not throw them away. How did he do this? Perhaps it was a process like bringing Play Doh back to life. Little by little God reminded them who they were and how he could help them in their misery -then he waited for it to sink in. Over time his people had a spiritual awakening and turned back to him.

Our relationship with God should be our number one priority, but the world wants us to worship the idols of money, materialism, social media, people, places, and things. Our hearts can become hard towards God like Play Doh left out too long and He can’t do anything with us, but it is never too late with God. Listen for the small still voice that is trying to speak to you in your spirit, reminding you that you are a child of God. He is always near. His unconditional love, and transforming power are yours. Let that sink in and over time your heart will soften up towards God and he will be able to work with you again.

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church and she can be reached at 828-962-8196 or

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