Transformed By God
The more we understand the more we can appreciate this life that we have been given. One of my favorite quotes on this discussion derives from a Chinese philosophy book, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” As we understand life through a time that no longer exists; we realize that it must be lived by moving forward. Too often we look back, and as Lot’s wife, become a “pillar of salt,” frozen in time and held back by our own fear of moving forward [Genesis 19:26]. The truth is, the past is a stepping-stone to becoming all that we were created to be!
As I reflect on life, it gives me hope to know that what is impossible with man is possible with God. Stories of old are like treasures that can help in starting something new, and the beauty is that there are so many lovely treasures found in the living word of God. Throughout the Bible we can see clearly that the great patriarchs of the faith were by no means perfect. They all held their own doubts, frustrations, irritability and restlessness. Nonetheless, what they all shared was through their weakness they held on to the strength they found in our Creator (God), and with that, they moved forward.
I can say with confidence that we don’t always control the results of our efforts. Still, it is imperative that we work towards what we feel called to do while leaving the results entirely in the hands of God. I often share these words with my students, “Even though we may never make the team, that doesn’t mean we won’t own the team some day.” If the desire for the game is strong we need to keep our eyes on the opportunities, whether it is to play or just help out, and God will direct the path.
You are important. We have all been given one life to live and if you are reading this, you are, somewhere in-between your birth and death. Your life and my life and every life around us counts. We matter to God and He created each and every one of us with purpose. We know this is true, because as Jesus was suffering on the cross with nails in His hands and feet, a back that was ripped apart from scourging, a crown of thorns pressing into His head, spit on His face, humiliation, abandonment and above all this our sins and the sin of the world on Him, He spoke these incredible words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34].
It is hard to imagine the level of hatred that can actually live in the human mind, soul, and spirit, as to bring on such torment, and evil to another human being, let alone God in the flesh. Jesus was treated in such a way by those He came to save, yet, His love for us endured. It was prophesied in the book of Isaiah: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed” [Isaiah 53:5]. The “stripes” referred to, are to the lashes Jesus received. Don’t live a life unfulfilled. May we seek God first, in all we do and be transformed by God and the riches of His grace.
When our children were in their early stages of life, I prayed to God for some special time to share with our oldest son. He was growing-up so fast and every-day becoming more and more independent. Being a mom, wife, stylist and all of the other roles I would play on a daily basis, I felt a need to just spend some fun time together with him. As life was pulling us in every other direction, on this one particular day we headed out to his little league game. When we arrived at the field, no one was there. So, I went over to the pay phone thinking maybe we’re at the wrong field. As I proceeded to pick up the handset receiver, I noticed the cord was cut, my thoughts, “What do I do now?” That’s when I felt the presence of the Lord. That still small voice so powerful saying, “This is the time you have been praying for.” A sweet peace filled me, and I said to my son, “Well baby, let’s wait around a few minutes and see what happens. In the meantime, let’s play some ball.” We had so much fun and just to play and laugh with him was priceless. Before we knew it, his team and the other team players started coming in from all ends of the field. We were in the right place, we were just a half-hour early.
Several years had passed and he was now thirteen years- old, standing on the big field, pitching. As I watched him I felt such a joy, our little boy was growing into a young man with such a heart for God. As I tucked our children in that night, I gave him a kiss and shared how proud I was of him, and happy, knowing that he had a heart for Jesus. He then turned to me and said, “Mom, before every pitch, I make the sign of the cross and ask God to protect me and help me make the move.” As I listened to him, so filled, I said, “Honey, most men have yet to capture that wisdom, I love you.”
God does hear our prayers and He does care about protecting us and helping us make the move. The moves that we need to make in our lives to be all that He has created us to be, to move forward.
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 32:8-9, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”
Life is not always easy, but we can be encouraged by those who were and/or are very active in spreading the Gospel message about Jesus and His protective love for us, in all situations.
Lot’s wife looked back. This was more than just a glance over her shoulder; it was desire to return to the ways of old. Called to press forward to save life, yet, she could not let go, and paid for it with her life.
A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.
Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen
Sweet blessings always,