A song I like goes, “All my favorite people are broken…believe me, my heart should know.” Most of us are duly aware of our struggle, pain, and loss, and we don’t always know what to do with it.
What can be harder to see are the ways that we have been changing for good. Just like in nature, transformation usually happens slowly and so we don’t always notice the change. But when we cooperate with grace it can happen, and it does. Where we end up is different from where we started. Our angry edges can get softened. Our feeble faith can get strengthened. Our fearful minds get more courageous. Our tiny hearts can stretch to hold more love. I’ve seen a lot of this change in our Circle of Hope, and experience it personally. A lot of it happens as we “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We actually get transformed into the image of Jesus more and more, by the power of the Spirit, which actually reveals our true selves.
Some of the people whose stories got into the Bible looked in God’s direction and experienced big changes too. Moses went from being a criminal member of an enslaved people to a victorious liberator. Ruth took risks to enter a new family and not only lost her foreigner status, she became part of a whole new family legacy that ended up revealing the Messiah. Joseph, Jesus’s father, was a faithful settler-type person until God called him into the wildness and uncertainty of pioneering that made way for a new world. Paul was a judgmental murderer who became the biggest spreader of peace and freedom that the world had ever known.
Our changes may not seem so dramatic, but I wonder if you can see the difference in you from where you started in faith and where you are now. What has changed? What do you want to change? Let’s discover more together on Sunday and throughout the month of July. God keeps leading us to a stable place in his presence where new life is revealed, and the world needs the changes we’re bringing.