"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago." - Psalm 77:11 (NIV)
If I lived in the days of Jesus, I like to think I'd have been moved by His miracles. Changed by His miracles. Repentant and willing to live differently because of what His actions proved. He is the Son of God—the miracle worker.
But would I really?
After all, sometimes I act as though Jesus can work miracles for other people, but not for me. Not in my issues.
Last year, I started to see that one of my issues was my short and snippy reactions to my family. I felt like I was constantly coming unglued and getting all tangled in my raw emotions. I chalked it up to stress, being overly tired, and monthly hormonal fluxes. I kept making excuses and promises to do better tomorrow. But then tomorrow would bring with it more challenges and conflicts where I'd react again and then regret it.
I was quick to applaud when other people repented and positioned their hearts to see Jesus work a miracle in their life. But I lived as if that same kind of miraculous work wasn't possible with me.
And that kind of unrepentant attitude frustrates Jesus. He said in Matthew 11:20, "Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent." (NIV 1984)
Sometimes I have to get out of my normal surroundings to become more aware of things that need to change in me. So, last year I spent a week at a homeless shelter called The Dream Center. Pastor Matthew Barnett and his church run The Dream Center in Los Angeles, which is a ministry hub of 120 programs that serve more than 40,000 people every month. Housed in a converted hospital building, the 700-bed facility includes a transitional shelter for homeless families, a drug rehab center, and a shelter for victims of sex trafficking.
I went to help meet needs. But I quickly realized I was there as a woman in need. A woman who needed God's reality to fall fresh and heavy and close and real and too in my face to deny.
I saw God's miraculous healing power woven into so many lives at The Dream Center. I saw it. And wanted it.
God's miraculous power is what transformed the gang member with eight bullet-hole scars into a Jesus-loving servant. So gentle.
It's what changed the former prostitute into a counselor for other girls rescued from life on the streets. So pure.
It's what changed the drug addict into a loving father, teaching his son how to be a godly leader. So integrity-filled.
What prevented me from realizing that God's power could change me too?
Somewhere along the line I stopped expecting God to work miraculously in me.
Inspired by the changed lives at the homeless shelter, my soul quickened to the bold reality that I could be different. I really could have different reactions to my raw emotions. I knew my progress would be imperfect, but it could still be miraculous. And I felt a new hope rush through me.
I'm not gentle by nature, but I can be gentle by obedience. I'm not patient by nature, but I can be patient by obedience. I'm not peaceful by nature, but I can be peaceful by obedience.
I can. And I will.
I can be the unglued woman made gentle, patient, and peaceful. God, help me. God, forgive me. And in the shadow of that realization and repentance, the miracle begins.
Dear Lord, please open my eyes to see the places I need You to change in me. I know I have wrapped my identity in so many things other than You. I want You to change those rough, imperfect places in me. Help me become the woman You created me to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do you want to be more gentle, patient and peaceful? Lysa TerKeurst's new book Unglued, shares wonderful wisdom to lead you in making those changes. Click here to pre-order your copy, releasing August 7.
We'd love to share a chapter of Unglued with you! Click here to read a section of this life-changing book and hop over to the Unglued website. It's a great resource to help equip you in making lasting changes.
Reflect and Respond:
Are you sometimes afraid of committing yourself fully and trusting God with the small and big changes that need to take place in your life?
In what areas do you need the Lord to do some major changing?
Isaiah 43:18-19, "But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." (NLT)
I am a magnet for strange. Seriously. A few years ago I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. We had gotten a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs, Champ and Chelsea, weren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.
I don't like open heights. I can't stand narrow balconies. And when driving across a bridge, you'll find me hugging the rail along the inside lane.
My daughter Hope is one of those people who knows how to dress. She'll put on a blue and white striped shirt, throw on an army jacket and black pants, finish the look with brown ankle boots and look like a fashionista.
It's usually very subtle. I'll think about something I want to do or sense God calling me to, and a feeling of uncertainty comes over me. Doubt whispers You can't do that. You're not good enough.
What makes a woman tender also reveals her vulnerabilities.
What makes a woman transparent also exposes her wounds.
What makes a woman authentic also uncovers her insecurities.
How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
by Karen Ehman
Women are wired to control. We make sure the house is clean, the meals are prepared, the beds are made, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to where they’re going on time. But sometimes our strength of being conscientious can morph into the weakness of being a slight—or all out—control freak! This humorous, yet spiritually practical book will help you learn how to control what you should, trust God with what you can’t, and more importantly, decide which one is which! Join Karen Ehman, a recovering control freak, as she enables you to: