The walkway in front of our home has sunken into the earth. In order to rebuild the path and provide an entrance into our front door, the jackhammer arrives to break up the concrete.
All morning I hear the loud blows cracking open that path.
I sneak out to watch, and it’s not pretty. It’s a total upheaval.
Breaking up concrete isn’t fun. I stand there, and I remember the verse in Hosea 10:12
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
It’s a strange verse if you consider that perhaps Hosea discusses the heart here. We sow righteousness, reap love, and break up hard ground. But what is the hard ground in the heart? I think of the rocky places in Jesus’ parable of the sower (Mark 4) and how nothing can take root in rock. The soul needs that rich, nourishing soil, not hardened places. What has hardened in my heart through pride, bitterness, or even ignorance? What has grown stale and cold in terms of compassion and service?
I know that any hard, stubborn places in me prevent the full reaping of what God wants to sow in me. And I know that the process of breaking apart this place inside might be long, hard, and chaotic, full of loud thoughts and protests. But it’s worth it to submit to whatever it takes to break up the concrete.
If I thought it would be easy, I remember the jackhammer and the concrete. Eventually, the jackhammer slows, the concrete’s removed, and the new, high path comes.