We must see more than little picture

Jeremy Hamilton

Jeremy Hamilton

I had an embarrassing moment Friday night … almost. Let’s just say that when the button on your pants breaks and you are about to emcee a public event you begin to wonder, “What would McGyver do in a situation like this?”

On what must have been my fifth attempt I made a paper clip and rubber band do a button’s job.

Here’s why I’m talking about my pants. We all have an embarrassing little problem. The Bible says in Ezekiel 11:19 that we have hearts made of stone.

Now that you have briefly been exposed to the lesson of this article, let me tell you more about my pants. The button that broke was not the original button. The first button was a nice metal riveted model. It was a beauty, but this summer it gave out-the rivet popped. I tossed the pants to the corner of my bedroom thinking I would just find another button and sew it on sometime.

“Sometime” turned into about two months. Finally, I scavenged a button, not as nice as the metal one, mind you, but I had a button. It was plastic and only had two holes (when I was certain a four-hole button was needed), but at least my favorite cargos were back in the rotation. That was about three weeks ago.

That’s right, I only got three weeks out of that lousy button.

But things are different now. This time the button came from Grandma’s button box. It is at least twice as thick as the deceased button, and the color is a much better match. And this time my wife did the sewing. What could go wrong?

Here’s what could go wrong. I might continue to miss the big picture. I need to admit there is a problem. I need to lose some weight. The reason my buttons are failing is that my middle is prospering.

In a similar manner we all need to admit there is a problem. We, as members of the human race, are not good people. In fact we are capable of great wickedness. Are the Rwandan people who slaughtered 800,000 people in 100 days in the 1994 genocide so different than me? Is it possible we are capable of the murder, torture and rape committed by the Hussein brothers? What makes us so different than Stalin or even Hitler? It’s sad to admit, but we share the same hard hearts these people all had.

But there is good news. The same passage in Ezekiel (11:19-20) tells us that God will turn our hearts to flesh. “…And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”

If you recognize that your heart is made of stone take comfort in this verse. 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. (Psalm 145:18-19).

Jeremy Hamilton is a campus staff member with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. You can e-mail him at [email protected].