Yesterday we talked about how Pharaoh hardened his heart towards God. Today, I want to look at how hard hearts develop in the first place.
Many of us are familiar with the parable of the sower, which is the story Jesus told about the farmer who went out to scatter seed; some of it fell on the road, some on rocky soil, some on thorny soil, and some on good soil. When we look at this account, we often talk about the three types of soil, but the thing that most fascinates me is the seed that fell on the road. Unlike our paved highways today, a road in Jesus’ day would have been simply a dirt-packed trail that had been trod so frequently it had become impacted and hard. Consequently, nothing could grow there anymore; when seed fell, it simply bounced and sat until the birds came and ate it up.
Like that road, I believe the reason we develop a hard heart is because we get walked on, pressured, pushed down, and stressed out; we experience betrayal, our hearts are broken, and we finally reach a breaking point. Instead of continually feeling pain, we decide that we won’t allow ourselves to be hurt any longer, so we become tough, strong, respectable and admirable but completely untouchable on the inside. That’s the essence of a hard heart.
Friend, if your heart is hard today, I want you to know that the Lord hasn’t forgotten you. In fact, He’s calling to you right now, not as an old man or an old woman or as a tough guy or tough gal, but as a child. Your Heavenly Father knows the hurt you’ve endured and He has compassion for you. When He looks at you, He doesn’t see a weathered and battered soul, He sees an innocent kid, and He wants you to come to Him, for He alone can soften a heart that’s been hardened and trampled by the years. If you allow Him in, He will pour life into your soul and make your spirit receptive to His love once again. Isn’t that wonderful news?