God is in the business of transformation. The Bible is full of example after example of transformed lives, people who’ve gotten a new lease on life, men and women who’ve been renewed. It’s what He does.
Yes, the Bible also has examples of people who rejected transformation, people who stayed stuck, hopeless, bitter and full of anger. These were the people who rejected God and rejected change. These were the people who wanted God to come to them on their own terms. They wanted God to bow to them.
In my life, I have been both the rejected and the transformed; I have experienced amazing victories and bitter defeats. Life can do that to us. It can knock us around, bloody us a bit. But my story doesn’t end with a lost battle. What I’ve come to understand is it’s in those dark moments when my story can take some amazing, interesting turns only to become something even better. Why? How? I’ve learned to let God come in.
We’ve had ups and downs, God and I, times where I’ve trusted Him and times where I’ve fought what I didn’t understand. I’ve had times of deep peace, hope and restoration, and times of deep doubt, hurt and confusion. Through it all, God has helped me to stay steadfast – relentless, resolute, single-minded, and true. Not perfectly. But consistently. There’s nothing I can’t tell Him. There’s nothing He wouldn’t do for me if it’s for my good. His love for me has been unshakable, even when my love for Him was shaken.
You and I both have a story. It’s being written day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Each of our stories is unique. There are no two stories that are the same. What you have to say in your story is something only you can say, lessons only you can give back to the world.
Your story is your life. What you do with your life, and how you live those precious few years you are given on this earth, define who you are and how your story will be told. And the beauty of your story is it’s always within your power through God to steer it in a different direction. God wants your life to be a love story – a story about how together you worked through incredible odds, you fought off enemies, you stayed faithful even though you stumbled sometimes. When at last you lay your pen down, it will be as a soul who was victorious, who was transformed, and who was ultimately renewed in this life just as you’re heading onto renewal in the next. That’s my dream for you, because it’s God’s dream for you.
Jesus said, “You, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it,” (Matt. 5:14-16).
God has big plans for your story, powerful lessons He wants to give you so you can then turn and give them to others in whatever fashion He shows you. It may be you meet someone who is going through the same dark tunnel you’ve had to pass through. You can offer him or her compassion and encouragement for the journey. It could be the extra joy in your step that people notice. They may not be able to put their finger on why, but there’s something different about you and they note it. God can use your experiences in a million different ways—and will—if you’ll let Him.
For Further Thought: Spend some time this week reflecting on how to include God in the story of your life in a way that feels more tangible, and what He would like to do with the chapter you find yourself in right now.