Create in Me a New Heart: December 12

Lutheran Indian Ministries 2016 Advent Devotion

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

 I grew up in a small town in Wyoming. I was taught not to judge a person based on their skin color, but when growing up in a small town, it is hard not to allow the opinions of others to influence your beliefs.

 We had several Indian Reservations nearby, but I had never visited any. My only means of shaping an opinion was by a Native family that lived up the street and the Native basketball team we played once a year at a local tournament. Needless to say, my opinion was jaded. I began to believe that all Native Americans lived in the past, were mad at us because our ancestors stole their land, lived off the government, were alcoholics, and lived in teepees.

 Now, I understand this is wrong, but it took two people to change my views. One of them was God; the other was my Native American husband. God is good at placing the most unlikely people in your life to change your heart and change your path. My husband carried brokenness with him, just like I did.

But God used that brokenness in his life to minister to me about my own past and to put a love for Native Americans in my heart.

We all carry brokenness with us. Some is our own doing; some is out of our control. God opened my eyes and heart to the injustices that Native Americans faced by the loss of their land, identity, and way of life. In showing me these things, He not only changed my opinion but changed my heart. My husband and I now do Native ministry and when I think of my prior beliefs, my heart aches. Fortunately, it also gives me the motivation I need to share my love for Jesus with Native Americans.

 Father, thank you for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank you for the hope that we find through Him to heal our brokenness and create new and clean hearts. Help me to share this love with others during this season of Advent. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Deon Prue, Lawrence, Kansas