Over these past six months or so I've been awakened - or at least I'm starting to be awakened. Since I feel like that's the best word that describes what I'm experiencing lately I thought I'd look it up to see what the real definition is. To awaken means to "rouse from sleep". No big surprise there - that's exactly what's happening to me. But the synonyms that I found with the definition describe what I'm feeling even better - "To stir up or call forth". I am absolutely stirred up and I'm seeing daily God "calling forth" things in my life that I thought I understood but it turns out I haven't really embraced until now. Like how much God loves the poor and the outcast and the orphan. Of course I've always known He cares about them and loves them, but I've never felt the full impact of just how much until now - and I'm sure I'm only beginning to scratch the surface. The one thing I do know - now that I'm awake I don't ever want to sleep again.
My capacity to love is so limited by my humanness and selfishness. So, this depth of love and compassion that I'm suddenly finding myself embracing and running toward is unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life. I can't just muster this sort of thing up on my own and so I know that it's God who's been pounding on my heart's door and getting me to open up. The phrase "love until it hurts" has taken on new meaning.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 says "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees."
This is the change I feel. God has removed my heart of stone and given me a new heart. A new heart that loves more like Him and His Spirit which moves me to follow Him. I'm just a desperate heap without them both.