You probably don’t know anyone like this. Right? What does this actually mean? A person whose heart is hard lacks compassion, at least as far as we understand the term. For Ezekiel, it was similar. A hard, stony heart was a heart confirmed in its rebellion against God. It was set like concrete in its wickedness (which is the source of hard-heartedness, its pride and self-love).
So what does the Lord offer? He offers an unfair exchange. He offers to take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Doesn’t sound fair, does it? It’s not. What does God need with a heart of stone? Nothing, but He can do much with a soft heart, a heart willing to worship, to listen, and to love. God wants to give you a new heart; to remove the heart scarred by despair, abuse, misery and pain; to remove a heart given to addiction and suffering and replace with a new, tender heart. God offers to do what no one else can do. Because no amount of good works, no medicine, no amount of self-sacrifice can effect this kind of change. God’s offer is free, because it has already been paid for. He offers to perform this surgery on His dime, as long as you are willing to submit to it.
Lord give me this heart today. Take out my heart, hardened by sin and shame, and create in me a clean, willing, fresh heart. I pray to liberate me from the shame of my past and create in me a love that cannot be snuffed out.