There’s a saying that I’ve sometimes seen on bumper stickers – “Need a heart transplant? Turn to Jesus.”
I understand the intent of that saying, but I don’t agree with it. Jesus is not in the business of heart transplants. He’s in the business of heart transformations. I can testify to that because it has happened to me. More than once. I was reminded of one of those times when my husband asked a question during his sermon last Sunday. He asked, “What’s the hardest thing you have ever had to do?”
A couple of things came to mind – the day I froze, terrified of falling, half way across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in B.C., and the day I made cookies. That day on the bridge a friend came and pried my hands off the railings and forced me to walk with her to the far side.
The day I made cookies was a different thing entirely. We had built our log house on the banks of the Klondike River in the Yukon. We needed a well drilled and there was only one person in the area who could do it. I’ll call him Jack. I’d known Jack for a number of years. In fact I’d known him quite well, or thought I did. It was one of those times in a person’s life when the shock of betrayal results in hatred. I hated that man. If I saw him on the street I would cross to the other side. If he was in a gathering I attended, I would leave. Just the sight of him made my blood boil.
So when my husband told me he had hired him to drill our well, I was shaken. I would not be able to avoid him when he was working in my back yard. The thought made my stomach clench. I tried desperately to find some-one else who could drill our well, but Jack was the only person who had the machinery and the know-how.
The first day he came, I ignored him and stayed in the house. That’s when the Lord started working on my heart. I opened my Bible that morning and the verses spoke of forgiveness. I closed the book and didn’t bother to pray. The next day the verses were different but the theme was the same. I tried to pray, without much success. On the third day I thought the drilling would be finished but the machinery was giving Jack trouble. It was going to take longer than he had estimated. I did not have to wonder why.
When I opened my Bible that fourth day the conviction on my heart was so strong I could not resist it. “For the word of God is living and active Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). I wept and asked God to help me forgive. I prayed the machinery would work. It took another two days and by then, on the last day, I managed to make a plate of cookies and serve them to Jack with fresh coffee and a smile. That was the same day fresh clean water gushed from the ground. The significance did not escape me.
Yes, God is in the business of transforming hearts. He reaches into them with His word and His spirit and changes them.
Think you need to forgive someone? Turn to Jesus and he’ll give you a heart transformation.