“We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.'” (Hebrews 3:14-15).
This exhortation comes from a context in Scripture when Moses had led the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt. They were free and on the journey toward the Promised Land. Yet they came to be quarreling and questioning the Lord’s ways, longing to be back in Egypt.
I am in a ripe environment for my heart to become hardened as I long for an earthly freedom from my pain. I can feel like I am “in Egypt” and awaiting deliverance.
Unlike those who Moses led, who were looking back to what they felt were better times in Egypt, I stumble looking back on better days before my challenges erupted. I want to be tasting new fruit in a better land. I want release.
I want. I want. I want.
I say I want God’s will for my life, but when suffering is what I feel 24/7, I want out. I still want Him; I just want His will to be a miraculous healing so I can be out of the pain and the limitations that accompany it.
I do not believe that God authors my sufferings. I do believe that, as my Creator who has my life plans intact, He understands these longings I experience. As He dwells within me, I am not abandoned as He is in this exile with me.
For my heart to be protected from growing hardened, I need to get used to hearing His heart beat within mine–His voice of encouragement that I can come to recognize when I learn to listen for it.
His heart is tender towards me. When we dwell in softness together, He can turn my exiled hardening thoughts toward His thoughts that bring comfort in spite of the suffering. He becomes a shelter from the clamor that has me wanting to “get out of Egypt.” When I relax with Him, I begin to see blessings in the here and now.
Prayer: Lord, I receive You and the grace that only You can give as I wrestle with longings to be elsewhere. You are with me here, not “there.” Soften my heart to rejoice that there is no exile when You are with me. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 30 years of living with daily physical challenges. Visit Lynn’s blog and sign up to receive new postings in your email box! http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
What are the areas in your life where you can most easily find your heart hardening? How does God help you to turn your heart toward Him to help it remain soft? What Scripture verse do you keep handy so that you can turn to it in times of weakening, that can help you be here to hear?
If we each are to keep our hearts guarded so that they do not become hardened, it is important to recognize that God is wooing us to hear his voice. Here in song, Twila Paris gives us some insights on our commitment to listen, to wait, to let Him guide us. Be here to hear.