I often find the need–especially when I am in a severe state of trial–to tell God what I can accept from Him and how I expect Him to behave. I think I am entitled to present my terms for our relationship. I reason that He will have to force His own terms to integrate with mine if anything will ever work between us. Yet, what I fail to realize (or, is it accept?) is that He already holds both of our interests in His hands, and therefore He is capable and intent upon integrating our hearts as He deals with everything in me that opposes the streamlining of my character and methods of interaction with His.
God sure doesn’t go about changing the heart’s of people the way I would! If I were capable of such a God-activity as monitoring and manipulating the seats of personalities, I believe I would be looking to accomplish a lot less than what He sets out to do with you and me.
Rather than aiming at setting up a relationship between us and allowing our hearts and wills to collide, I think I would keep my distance and busy myself prescribing various avenues of cure — avenues that I would not have to go down myself.
As for methods of affecting the transformation needed by my patients, I would most definitely be seeking out the most uncomplicated and unharmful — for me that is! Two of my favorite “care” options would have little to do with me exercising care — you can be assured.
So far I have come up with two very simple processes I would like to call the zap technique and the extention technique. The patient would be given some measure of choice in the matter, but my recommendation would ultimately decide their fate.
According to the zap technique is designed to treat extremes found on the sin spectrum. A particularly good or abhorably bad would be speedily be transformed into the absolute in divinely inspired perfection with the press of a button.
Then for the more centrally located populace, I would get the exercise out of my heart-alteration practice by constantly hounding the illegitimately holy for all their missteps and then roughly making the corrections in their person as needed.
No one would voluntarily come to me, I can be sure; but I would not voluntarily help them either. My patience would be thin as a strand of floss and love for the sinner at my mercy would be non-existent.
Now, I say all these things because I am amazed that God is not just so with me. By all accounts of my sin, even with His forgiveness, His response to me should leave little room for error. Yet, God is not as like me as I would like to think He is. He loved me when I was just a figment of His perfect imagination, and so He created me and gave life to my little body.
In the full exercise of good plans He gave birth to my God-reflecting image and intelligence. And to this He added freedom that I might be crippled as something like a toy or a tool that can not move or speak on its own. He loved me down to the faculties that gave me expression — whether that should be good or evil.
Therefore when He goes to change me, it is not to start over or to set limits on what I can now be, but to open wide those avenues that I have closed with my willingness to turn away from Him. Now He walks in and takes my hand, saying, “Child, come with Me. I am going to show you what it means to be a boy/girl who does only the best of what she is capable of.”
There is nothing like knowing that you will be okay when God gives you a glimpse of
how in control He is of your circumstances,
how capable He is of unveiling more of His glory to you in it, and
how adept He is in transforming your heart by its pressure.
Love Him even if He is all you have! If testing is what He has chosen for you, then appreciate the fact that there was likely no other way you could have become pliable enough for God’s love to freely mold you.
Consider the trial-testimonies of others, and ask your Savior for new insight in reflecting on yours. Our stories are not so different; they will always reflect the same truths that we need to see, if we are first conscious of the same God at work behind them.
Our Lord has enabled me to face and endure the testing of so many things that I never could have faced or come through alone. This is how the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to accomplish the revelation of grace in our lives: It corrals us into positions from which we might be most certainly impressed by our need for His sacrifice and by His willingness to offer it.