"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13
This week Chad asked the staff if there was one thing in the whole world we could change, what would it be? I could think of numerous things that I would like to see changed...World peace, elimination of child abuse and domestic violence, no more poverty...all kinds of worthwhile things. But, realistically, we can wish and we can work on change but somehow it all seems futile because it never stops. We are still left wanting more...seeing more that needs to be changed. Renovating the world is like renovating our houses. We get new carpet and we realize how dingy the walls are. So we paint the walls and we realize we need to paint the trim too...which then casts light on the saggy old couch or the battered old coffeetable. So we get a new couch and/or coffee table...and the list goes on. We can't stop with "one thing." To me, there's not a real or effective answer to that question outside of myself because nothing really changes...not permanently anyway. Seasons go round and round. They go away and come back again as sure as the sun rises and sets. Seasons of war, seasons of peace. Seasons of sorrow, seasons of joy. Seasons of pain, seasons of healing. Seasons of hatred, seasons of love. Seasons of despair, seasons of hope. That's the circle we call life.
Quite a few years ago, there was a book that really impacted me and the title statement still invades my thoughts and being every so often. And I realize that if there was one thing I could change, this would be it...It's the only thing that I CAN do. I don't have the strength or the influence to change the world or even to change my circumstances, but there is one thing I can change and it begins with a simple prayer: "Lord, change me." If there is one thing in the whole world I can change, I'm it. Lord, change me...Change my mind, change my unforgiving and sinful heart, change my graceless attitude, change my stubborn will...For this moment, don't change my family or my friends and enemies or my circumstances-- CHANGE ME!
To borrow Tom's words, I'm not the president of all those other things--world peace or war, or child abuse, domestic violence, sickness, or poverty, or any malady that plagues our world. The truth is I'm not the president of anything at all. On my own, I can't change the world or even my own little corner of it. All too often, I can't even change my own circumstances. In reality, I can't change anything at all...BUT GOD CAN! And it begins with me. In asking God to change me, I can change the world...
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me,
and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." - Psalm 51:7-12
LORD, CHANGE ME...