I recently watched an interview with Max Lucado on the television program 100 Huntley Street. He told the story of a family who lost their 13 year old daughter, Taylor, in a skiing accident. The doctors asked the parents if they would be willing to donate her organs; she was the ideal candidate because she was young and healthy. The parents consented without hesitation, because they felt that their daughter would want them to. Some time later the parents had the opportunity to meet a nurse named Patricia, the recipient of Taylor’s heart. They asked if they could listen to their daughter’s heart beat one more time, so Patricia provided them with a stethoscope to do just that. They concluded that it was still a good strong heartbeat. Patricia’s weak heart had been replaced with Taylor’s strong heart. As Max told the story, he said that this is a picture of what Christ does for us. When we accept Christ, He replaces our heart with His heart, and we become a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17) When God listens to our heart beat, He hears the heart of His Son.
After the interview Ezekiel 36:26 showed on the screen. This verse is a part of the prophecy regarding the restoration of Israel. God promises to replace the hard heart of Israel with a tender heart, but that prophecy applies just as much to us as it does to them. The hearts of people today are just as hard as they were in the time of Ezekiel, and God is still the same. He wants to fill us with His Spirit and turn our stone-cold hearts into loving, giving, teachable, God-honouring hearts.
God gave this prophecy to Ezekiel to give the Israelites hope, and we can have the same hope. God doesn’t give up on His children. He wants to redeem us, restore us and transform us. He can change our hearts, and He is waiting to change our hearts, but we have to be willing to make the change. Imagine if Patricia had been afraid or unwilling to accept a heart transplant. She would not have known the joy she now has in living with a strong heart. Unlike Patricia, people aren’t always convinced that life would be better with a change of heart. They don’t want to give up what they know for something that they don’t know even if it will be better. God won’t give up on us though. When we are ready, He’ll be there waiting.
Learn more about Taylor's gift here.