Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? 2 Chronicles 13:5 NIV
I recently enjoyed a sweet time with Jesus in this very spot. Beautiful, isn’t it? I always somehow feel especially close to Him by the sea.
And this particular morning, a gentle but steady breeze blew the hair from my face while the sun cast its warmth upon it. I couldn’t help but close my eyes and lift my face toward heaven.
Blessings of praise soared from my lips to God’s ears, followed by fervent intercession. You may not have realized it at the time, but you were there with me. Unseen faces filled my thoughts with urgent need.
God means to awaken His church, dear one. And you and I are the church.
Something occurred to me as I sat there with Jesus inviting Him to merge my heart with His. You see, while I cried out to Him for you and His kingdom purpose, tears fell. Many tears.
Eventually I tasted them. And a new thought emerged about what’s found in them.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13
Jesus declared that you and I are salt, dear one. And He cared a great deal about whether we reveal and display our saltiness. In fact without saltiness, He said we have no use except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Are you feeling trampled, beloved? Perhaps it’s symptomatic of an absence of salt.
I wonder. Have you and I become the salt Jesus described? What if one way we’ve lost our saltiness is that our hearts don’t feel what God feels?
It occurred to me that day by the sea that our tears—or lack of them—might indicate our level of saltiness.
I’m not talking about the tears we cry for ourselves. Most of us can easily shed a tear over our own losses and disappointments. But what about shedding tears for our brothers and sisters in Christ? What about feeling another’s pain so intensely that our own heart hurts? Or what about anguish over a stranger’s poor choices that makes salty tears fall?
It sounds crazy, I know. But it’s Jesus. He offered a prime example of it as He looked out over the city sheltering the mob that would crucify Him.
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42 NIV
The words strike me every time I read them. Jesus knew exactly what the people of Jerusalem were about to do to Him. Yet He wept for them, because He knew their rejection of Him would cost them dearly. And He loved them.
You see, that’s what God’s heart does, dear one. It loves. Deeply. Sacrificially.
And that’s the salt He means to put in you and me, beloved. Love. That’s what makes us different from everyone else, what keeps us from tasting just like the world.
Jesus feels. He weeps when people suffer and celebrates their blessings. He calls us to do the same.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
You and I are supposed to cry when others experience pain. We’re supposed to long to see blessings released in the lives of people around us so we can rejoice with them.
But often rejoicing isn’t what we do when we see blessing poured out on someone else, is it? Bitterness more readily rears its head. After all, how can we rejoice for them if we lack what they received? And we can’t be expected to weep over someone else’s sorrow when we have so much of our own.
I’m going to tell you the truth, beloved. Those responses reflect a calloused heart. A heart centered on self instead of others. One that doesn’t resemble God’s.
But here’s the good news. Hard hearts happen to be God’s specialty. We just need to offer it to Jesus—no strings attached—and invite Him to make it like His. That is, after all, why He went to the cross.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
Perhaps that’s how you and I become the salt of the earth, dear one. We repent of our self-centeredness and allow Jesus to give us that new heart. We invite Him to make us feel what He feels and start letting His tears flow through us.
There’s nothing to fear, dear one. I’d rather taste a few salty tears than find myself useless to Jesus and trampled underfoot. Wouldn’t you?