I was walking through the Ouze valley park, here in MK. I went by a field of stubble and stopped and picked up a piece. It looked like a plant, sticking out of the ground and having the form of a plant, but on inspection you see that stubble is completely hollow – there is no substance to it.
In the same field I spied a flint rock. I also picked this up and felt the weight of it, examining its shiny surface. Before tossing into a stream I remembered that scripture from Psalm 114:8 – ‘which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters’. God was able to take the rock at Meribah, in that dreadful Midianite wilderness, and turn it into a fountain of water. But here was this stubble, which the flint lay amongst – hollow and without substance. What does scripture have to say of stubble?
Isaiah 40:24 ‘…and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble’
1 Corinthians 3:12-13 ‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.’
My conclusion is that it is better to have a hard heart than an empty one. God can take passionate people – even if their zeal is for evil – such as the Apostle Paul and turn that hard heart into a fountain of living water. But an empty heart, dispassionate and apathetic, is too instable and susceptible to be of any use.