Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Today I was going through some old photo footage and found a picture of my mother and me working in the kitchen. When my mother was visiting from Germany she liked to cook us a special German meal. One dish in particular stands out in our memory, and that is her Sauerbraten. A traditional German recipe, Sauerbraten is basically Beef marinated in Red Wine Vinegar.

My husband Bill and Mom always went together to shop for the meat. Bill wanted to buy her the most tender cuts of beef available on the market, but Mom turned everything down. The toughest areas of the animal are the shoulder and leg muscles because they are worked the most; Mom selected a beef brisket, a beef cut right above the legs, which is probably the toughest piece of meat one could get. At home then she proceeded to marinate the brisket in vinegar for about a week. The result was a yummy meal with dumplings, red cabbage and an incredibly tender Sauerbraten. Obviously, along with my mother’s expert cooking and seasoning, marinating did the trick.

Remembering how my mother handled meat, I couldn’t help but drawing a parallel this morning; I find that when the Lord speaks to our hearts He breaks up our toughness. “Marinating in His Word” is the best experience for my heart I can think of. Going through trouble, it has helped my heart to stay at peace.

Writing blogs on Social Media has become my way of digging deeper into God’s Word. A lot of time I wrestle with the Lord about a meaning. The Bible has so many layers. Digging deeper, the things of God begin to move my heart and develop into more than just a passing thought.

A hardened individual is often a person who has closed down like an oyster after a traumatic experience. Paradoxically, a toughened heart does not fare so well in tough times. Faced with adversity, it can turn unforgiving and bitter. A softened heart, however, is flexible enough to get through the ups and downs of life unscathed.

A human heart is subject to change. God has the power to soften the most hardened of hearts. Listening to God speak brings life to our bones and transforms our life forever.