“Can your son come spend the day with our son?”
“No, I’m sorry. He’s grounded.”
“But your son is so much like mine and I feel he’d be a good influence on mine who’s in a tough season right now.”
Unfortunately, I had to stand my ground, and even be a little tough with this parent. Even though the invitation came from a warm heart, I could not allow mine to thaw at all.
I hated it when the consequences of my children’s choices meant I had to be so hardhearted not only toward other children, but also toward other parents, friends, and youth leaders. I felt unbending and self-centered. But sometimes a cold heart is necessary.
Sometimes we need a cup of cold to simmer ourselves down. We don’t necessarily have to be in the midst of a conflict; passion on fire can also cause problems. Our strengths in over-drive can cause burnout—either for ourselves or for those choking on the smoke trailing behind us. Yes, there are times we need to sit and sip on an ice-cold drink from the Fountain of Living Water (Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13).
But then there are plenty of times we already feel rather coldhearted. Truth is, sometimes, it’s good to be a bit chilly. Many times we have to draw lines and stick to them, even when doing so feels hard and uncaring. And there are times we need to wrap a thick layer of insulation around ourselves so we can get work done, get a sanity break, or get some rest. Or we need to toughen-up when false accusations or lies from the enemy are hurled in our direction.
A cold heart might indicate something necessary is happening and we don’t need to hurry to turn up the heat. We need to take the time to figure out what’s going on. It just might be time to unapologetically chill for awhile.
If that’s you, then God Himself offers you an invitation to enjoy a fresh cold drink.
Jesus offered the woman at the well living water (John 4:10). He promises to satisfy the thirsty (Psalm 107:9, Isaiah 44:3). He invites us to come and drink (Isaiah 55:1). Maybe today is a day to accept His invitation.
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.
John 7:37, 38 (NIV)