Sunday, October 18, 2015

Removing the Callus

I did surgery on my foot last night, and found something I didn't expect. Since there was no blood, it would be more accurate to say I did a "procedure" on my foot with a loop curette. I'm only telling you because there was such a nice object lesson to be drawn from it. 

A hard, linear callus had formed on the plantar surface of my foot. It wasn't painful, but it wasn't supposed to be there. When I wore shoes without padded soles, I could just barely notice it. "I should trim this," I had thought for weeks.

Yesterday, I had some free time and decided to spend a bit dealing with the callus. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend this technique.) I had an old loop curette I had used on Ryan's foot several years ago. I stuck it in the pencil holder when I finished using it, (I don't usually save instruments, but I thought his callus might need additional attention.) where it had been ever since. I sterilized it in preparation for the procedure. I cleaned my foot, wiped it down with sanitizer, and went to work. 

Layer after layer of callus was easily peeled away. I was down to the skin, and wondering if I'd ever get to the bottom of the callus, when I found a surprise. A small splinter.

I had stepped on the splinter and it had lodged in the skin but not gone through the skin. Over time, my body had formed a hard callus around it as a kind of protection. The callus was the only indication I had of the intruder. 

That little splinter and its resulting callus are very similar to what happens in our spiritual life. The smallest sin (whether it be a deliberate sin or a response to a perceived hurt from someone else's sin) can lodge in our hearts in such a way that we form a hard callus around it without ever realizing it's there. The only indication of the problem is the "hard place" in us. 

Like my callus, these little heart-calluses are not constantly noticeable but they have an impact on how we respond, to others and to God. 

The only way to deal with the heart-callus is to allow God to peel the layers away, reveal the problem at the center, and remove it.

Is there any hardness in your heart? In mine?

Left alone, that hard spot will grow bigger. It will eventually be noticeable. To others and to you. There's no good reason to leave it. In fact, the only sensible response for a disciple is to ask God to reveal our hard places and do the work of removing them as well as the causative agent. It's the only way we can have the soft, malleable heart of flesh He intends us to have. 

Best of all, when we allow Him to remove our hard places and give us a soft heart, it allows a deeper intimacy with our God. We, too, can say, "I am His and He is mine". 

"And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. 
And I shall 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."                        
                                                  Ezekiel 11: 19-20 nasb

In case you missed any of this week's posts, here are the links: How to Have a Flood of God-LoveThe Wonder Girls Close the ParkSoft drinks, snacks, and airplane takeoffYeast in the FlourThe Problem With Phone Calls, and How to Recognize Good News

The most-read post last week was Soft drinks, Snacks, and Airplane Takeoff.
#heartofflesh #callus #hiddensin #disciple 
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