Keith has made an index of "important things" in our lives, one manila cardstock page for each year, all clipped together. If we need to know when we purchased something that has gone kaput, we can pull out half a dozen sheets from about the right time, and quickly skim them until we find it. If we need to know when one or the other of us had a surgery or the last tetanus shot or any number of other things, five minutes will tell us all we need to know.
At first, as a young mother who scarcely had time to think, and certainly not much time for myself, I hardly wrote in the things. But as the boys grew up and no longer needed Mommy every few minutes, could dress themselves, bathe themselves, and entertain themselves, I began to add a page here and there—to get my side in, which is our inside joke about it. For well over the past twenty years I, too, write in it every day. The only problem I have is that now that we are together 24/7, if he tells everything we have done in a day, I have nothing left to write except, "Yep."
This year we have had a bit of a problem. Suddenly, usually on the edges of the page, the pen stops writing. These are the same style and company's pens we have used for decades. Occasionally I can pick up another pen and fill in the missing letters, but not every time. It makes this usually pleasant chore a real aggravation.
The other night Keith left me to go study, carrying the same pen with him that had just refused to write not only on the edges of the page but smack in the middle, too. He pulled out a sheet of cheap notebook paper to take notes as he studied and the pen wrote just fine anywhere on the page. That made him think. He came back to the journal and pulled it out. We have always used Mead notebooks. This was one we found on a super-cheap sale, a Stellar—which it evidently is not! The problem was not the pen; the problem was the paper, some sort of finish that kept the ink from writing on it in scattered places. Unfortunately, we bought two of the things. That second one will go somewhere else, not as our next journal, and we will just have to suffer through the rest of the year with this one.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer 31:33).
In this time of the new covenant, God is writing his law upon our hearts. He expects that our "obedience of faith" as Paul calls it twice in the book of Romans, will be "obedience from the heart" (Rom 6:17). That heart will "delight to do his will" (Psa 37:31; Rom 7:22). That kind of heart will "know righteousness" (Isa 51:7). That kind of heart, pure and sincere even as it follows God's rules carefully, is what He demands from His people.
God writes on our hearts through the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:3). As we fill ourselves with His Word, our hearts are being etched with a marker far more perfect than the ones we use. God's writing implement works just fine. If He is having trouble writing on your heart, it's not the pen that is at fault, it's your heart.
And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2Cor 3:3).