Read Ezekiel 36:25-26
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (NLT)
The late Brazilian Catholic Archbishop Helder Camara, told a story about the time he preached on the importance of having a heart like a sponge. A sponge which absorbed and passed on the goodness of God. He went on to say that if some felt their hearts were like sponges a bit clogged with chalk dust, then they needed to be plunged into the waters of God’s grace.
A lady came to him afterwards and said her case was worse. She had a heart of stone. Camara replied that she should offer that ‘stone’ to God. After all Jesus once said he had no stone on which to lay his head. So the woman invited Jesus to lay his head on her ‘stone’. It was all she could offer him.
She reported later how much that changed her. By offering her hard heart to God, it had become softened. Which is what was promised way back in the time of Ezekiel. He is the great changer of hearts, the one who melts the ice or fragments the stone.
Rather than lament the hardness and stoniness of our hearts, we do well to offer them to God so he can get to work on them. We offer him what we have, not what we would like to have. We can’t give ourselves new hearts, we can only give our old hearts to him.