Just now I felt a tug from the Holy Spirit and saw a half-formed image of a physical organ, pulsing, like a heart, but then forming a shell over it. I got a sense that regular dipping in water or liquid would keep it soft and stop that shell.
It was only a gentle sense, but it was aimed for me, I know – that without that gentle submission to the Holy Spirit, my heart starts forming that shell, and anyone trying to deal with me is gonna bump up against something unyielding, something they will have to push against. In other words, I will be hard work on any day in which I do not yield to Him.
This reminded me of the parable of the sower, of course, and the stony soil. Only a moment of reflection allows me to see that where there have been times where I have been the ‘good soil’ in the parable, ready to yield a hundredfold, there has always been something that gets in the way. When gardening, stones in the soil are unhelpful in so many ways – and to begin with, we may not realise how large or how numerous the stones are. Similarly, when people are interacting with me, I may appear like good soil to begin with, but as they start to dig, as they want to do something that involves me, suddenly they are having to root around and cast out stones left, right and centre.
Father, I want to be really good soil. Where it seems there are stones, I want them to be rich clods of earth that crumble willingly on demand and allow the seed to grow. Coming back to that image of the heart constantly forming a shell, only the regular dipping in the Spirit keeps my life soft, keeps my tongue soft and slow to answer.
I know that the work was finished on the Cross, and that nothing more needs to be done. I also want that finished work to be daily planted in me, daily lifting me, daily preparing me for the good works that Christ has prepared.