I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them, though they are a rebellious house. NIV
As I work my way through the listings of the term “fear not” in my King James concordance, I’m now in the book of Ezekiel. I’ve not spent much time in this book, and this chapter appears to be the record of an encounter with God, during which God is preparing Ezekiel to carry an important message to the people of Israel.
I absolutely love this verse. The message translates it, “I’ll make your face as hard as rock, harder than granite. Don’t let them intimidate you. Don’t be afraid of them, even though they are a bunch of rebels.” MSG
I once saw a piece on TV about Grace Kelly’s life. She was a beautiful actress, and some of my favorite movies are ones that she did with Hitchcock. During the piece, the narrator referred to letters that Grace had written home to her family when she was first beginning her acting career. She was lamenting to them that she had a great deal of trouble showing emotion on her face. I was so surprised by that! It had never occurred to me that people would struggle with showing emotion, because my struggle has always been just the opposite.
But, God made all of us uniquely, so, as I thought about it, it occurred to me that the ability to show emotion, or lack thereof, was likely on a spectrum, like most things in life. For some people it is very easy, for others, very hard. Until that point, I had never considered this to be an ability, rather more like a curse. I had spent some time wondering how others could be so good at hiding what they were thinking, when my face seemed to betray my thoughts on a moment by moment basis.
As I read this verse, I believe that Ezekiel likely had the same propensity as I to show what he was thinking. God knows that. And, he offers — note that Ezekiel doesn’t ask for this — God offers to harden his face for him … and then reassures him by telling him not to be intimidated by the frightening bunch that God is sending Ezekiel to speak with.
This is something that I have not thought of before. Of course, God can do anything … but I never thought about asking him to help me keep my emotions off my face.
The next time I face a situation like the one described in this chapter … well not exactly like it, because I seriously doubt that God is going to be asking me to eat a book anytime soon … but, the next time I’m going into an intimidating situation, instead of worrying about it, I’m going to ask God to make my face as hard as granite … or maybe, as hard as Grace Kelly’s.
That’s what I’ll think about today.