I took my hatred of winter out on the blocks of ice underfoot today, smashing at the ice until it broke into big, meltable chunks, then stomping over the areas by my dog fencing where over a foot high of snow remained. I was hot, tired, and a bit breathless by the end of it all, but satisfied as I moved closer in my efforts to the warmth of spring to come. I could not help but think of the thawing of my heart that occurred over the last year of my life, and wonder how God must have felt knowing what lay beneath my iced over heart was not only the warmth and joy of a new season of my life – but the person He had birthed when I was born again by confessing and believing in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. He knew if only I would give up the winter of my heart, the ice, the cold, and the frost, that His love could pour into and through me the way He had intended all along. But alas, unlike the winter season that always comes to an end, the hardening of my heart would never come to an end unless I allowed it. And, at last, as I endured one of the most devastating years of my life, I surrendered all to the Lord and gave Him my permission to thaw out my heart.
The book of Hebrews in the Bible warns us against hardening our hearts, specifically against the hardening that comes with unbelief. The Lord tells us in Hebrews that we will not enjoy His rest if we remain in unbelief. My own heart had so many layers of ice that I could not see until the blocks began to fall off how much unbelief I had inside. But unbelief was not all. Fear, bitterness, vengeance, envy, worry, doubt, and so much more had formed such an immense igloo around my heart that few, if any, could reach inside – and certainly I could not reach out.
As I worked away at the snow and ice today, I realized how utterly excited I was at the prospect of finding the ground beneath. I did not expect grass, nor really care. I was so desperate to see anything again but snow and ice that all I wanted was the possibility – the potential – of the ground beneath it all. And, today, for the first time in over a month, significant amounts of the ground appeared.
Just like the process of discovering the ground once again after the worst winter season in the DC metropolitan area in years, I am also finding the heart the Lord intended me to have when I was born again into His Kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.
By surrendering all of me to the Lord, finding the intimate, personal relationship with Him I had never truly had, by letting my mind be renewed by studying and applying the Word of God led by His Holy Spirit, by being part of the Body of Christ, by loving and serving Him and my fellow man, I have discovered the ground – the foundation – beneath what for years had been a hardened heart beyond measure.
I have such a very long way to go, but at least now I am at the beginning rather than the end. I take my heart before the Lord regularly to confess my sins, receive forgiveness, and turn away, or repent, from my shortcomings, and day by day I wait to see what the Lord will birth from the ground as the spring of my heart begins.
As winter makes its far too slow exit from where I live physically, the winter of my heart has come to its own end.
I look forward to the spring. I look forward to see what God will do with a heart that now belongs completely to Him as it should have all along.