Years ago I read an insightful testimony given by Max Lucado of a time when he was a child seated by his father in church. He found a straight pin (given by the Sunday School teacher to fasten an attendance ribbon) and to pass the time, he began investigating his father’s calloused hands with the straight pin. Over and over he pushed the pin into his father’s calloused fingers without any reaction from his dad. Finally, he administered a single sharp jab to one of his father’s fingers and with success, received the expected reaction. Later that day, he felt those same calloused hands bringing discipline to young Max. But as Pastor Lucado recalled that story he reflected that all these years later, he’s still in church, still trying to break through calluses. But now he is using the Word of God–not a straight pin. And he’s not trying to break through calloused hands; now he’s trying to reach calloused hearts.
What causes calluses? The formation of a callus is the result of a repeated pressure or friction. The action or movement is usually not severe, for if it was, the reaction would be blisters rather than calluses. Usually calluses form because of a constant repetition of or exposure to an action.
I’m not really bothered by calluses on my hands or feet, but I’m very concerned about calluses on my heart. As a believer, I am continually exposed to blessings of God and the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life and the lives of those around me. I love the constant spiritual flow and energy that is available to me as a born-again Christian. But after years of serving God, I find that it’s easy for me to become complacent about spiritual matters. Things that used to thrill me now are commonplace. And the newness I felt as a young Christian has long since worn off.
I’m often reminded of an old song by Gordon Jensen, “Bring Back the New Again” that brings the thought home in the chorus when he says, “… How did I miss the road? When did I lose the glow? Where did the wonder go? Bring back the new again.”
It’s imperative for us as believers to guard our hearts against calluses and to maintain a fresh and lively experience with Christ. After our long, drawn-out winter this year, spring is a welcome sight! And the same way, after a period of hardness and lethargy, our Lord Jesus desires to reawaken us to newness of spirit. As I continue teaching this new series, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” I’m awakening again to the truth that God wants us all to live in newness of life!