I love the Lord! I love the way He’s always on time! I love how He loves me! I love that He honors my prayers and that He opens my eyes to see what He is doing in my life. I love living life as a Christian. When I think back on my pre-Christ days, I shudder. Oh, thank you Jesus for finding me!
Relying on ourselves is the easiest way to disaster. Oh, sure, we think we can do it all by ourselves. WE make our plans and WE put them into action, and when things go wrong, WE tend to blame everyone else around us. Perhaps they didn’t cooperate. Or maybe they had their own plan and cut us off at the pass. Perhaps they weren’t “as smart as we are” and couldn’t see the big picture. Whatever our excuse, WE stick to our plan and revise it and amend it and continue to try to make it work all on our own. And sometimes, when we are really frustrated with everyone else’s lack, we lash out. WE demean them, chastise them, denigrate them, and make them feel unworthy and worthless. WE are our own worst enemy.
I have discovered through many years of trial and error that there’s a secret to living life in the midst of disaster: it is in relying not on myself, but on the Lord of Glory. He can take the most vile tongue and turn it into sweet music. He can pick up the broken pieces of a soul and mend them, creating a beautiful work of art. His smile of approval sets my heart singing and my spirit soaring. His unconditional love makes my worst mistakes look like small pebbles on a rocky beach.
Through the years I have often turned to the Lord asking for Him to change me — Change the way I think about a matter — Mend my heart and help me to forgive — Take my tongue and turn it to good and not to evil. During this past year I have been asking the Lord to control my tongue — to make my speech gentle and my manner loving and humble. These are not easy prayers to pray! I know the Lord and I know that when I pray these kinds of prayers He will honor them, for this is exactly what He wants to make me: gentle, loving, kind, humble. And honor this prayer, He did!
This week I experienced what I can only describe as a miracle transformation. I have been slowly changing for a few months, but this week I saw for myself to what extent the Lord of Glory had changed my heart and spirit. In the midst of horrendous trials with customers and employees a brand new ME emerged! Where I once would have snapped and snarled and threatened, I instead offered comfort, wisdom, retraining, AND — beyond belief — joined the crews in 90 degree weather while we repaired what should have been done right in the first place! And miracle of miracles, I didn’t complain, I didn’t browbeat, and I didn’t make them feel like they were worthless. Instead, by the grace of God, I was able to offer gentleness, lovingkindness and humility. Only God can do that!
The outcome? My employees are working more diligently than before; my customers are uber-happy; and my ‘team’ is really functioning as a team. I feel GREAT! And so do they.
The Lord is faithful. If we want to be changed into His image, He will change us. Sometimes it seems to take forever, and sometimes you turn around and BLINK, and the change has been enacted. It takes a commitment of the heart. But guess what? It doesn’t take trying! We cannot STRIVE to become like Jesus Christ! We STRIVE to surrender to His Holy Spirit and submit ourselves to HIM, and He will do the work in us.
Praying for all of you who want to be more like Jesus. I know that’s what He wants too!
Psalm 18:35 (NKJV) You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.