Vanadium stared at the brawny sweat-laden arms of Dowson as he slammed the pick repeatedly into the soil. All she wanted was a nice hole. But he was getting nowhere. Finally, frustrated and tired he motioned for her to come outside. “It’s no use! This hill is made of granite. Are you sure we can’t put this feeder somewhere else?”
“No! I want it right here” she stubbornly insisted. She threw down her glass that shattered, splattering Martini across a thirsty ground. She was about to say something snide when he threw up his hands and turned away and in so doing awakened an old memory. It was thirty years ago on this same day her father quietly closed the door and led two frightened children away from a screaming mother. He gave up living with a contentious wife who refused to stop drinking and badly abused them. The last memory Vanadium had of her was a glass smashing against a closed door. Tears formed and began a downward journey. The sweet little girl who sang to Jesus, the studious teen who inspired others by her faithful love for God, the young bride praised by a church full of friends had somehow become like her mother!
Hebrews 3:7,8a, 12—Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness . . . Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God.
(Two years later) Vanadium Denison* speaks to a class of young married couples. Her eyes sparkle, her voice is gentle and they can only marvel at the transformation. They listen closely to words born from lessons learned. Hardness cannot possess a heart by storming it. It wins by subtle steps. It misleads thoughts and then pampers pride so that it cannot admit to being wrong. It establishes habits that feed an eager flesh. It disdains as stale and irrelevant truth. Soon a diet of soap operas replaces the hour of prayer. The office gossip becomes tastier than God’s Word. Hardness welcomes compromise like some long-lost brother. Social drinks expand to stashing bottles. Sharing about the Lord becomes taboo for He might offend her liberated friends. Going to church is not fulfilling for hardness finds the faults of others and twists them. Like parched ground that will not give, hardness gains strength by drought. My friends, if you want to be like Jesus you can’t live like Judas.
Watch spiritual hardness, if ever you have the tiniest trace of it, haul up everything else till you get back your softness to the Spirit of God.—Oswald Chambers in Run Today’s Race
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)