Changed Minds

We can ask “what does it? What has the power to change a mind?” The answers vary, but what I’m certain of is that minds can and do change on many matters with maturity and experience. They change based on what they are exposed to and based on what a person chooses to do with what they encounter. Different choices make all the difference…

As I was working in the quiet, I found myself quite naturally singing a song that, through lyrics, marvels at God’s care for us. The words, “who am I that The Lord of all the earth would care to know my name; would care to feel my hurt” had come to mind from memory and flowed in song from my lips. My thoughts were clear and unhindered by competing thoughts and they settled the bit of anxiety I had been carrying through the morning. I pondered the truth in the song’s words and my long journey from where I started to where I am. I considered how God continued to shepherd me through years when I had few clear thoughts and my emotions were tangled in confusion and pain. Nothing much seemed to make sense and the world felt cold and harsh. Yet, He continued to draw me to Himself; He sustained me when I was unable to find much comfort anywhere, and when my choices were rooted in all things selfish. He loved me anyway…

I consider the profound influence scripture has had on my life and how words of truth in song minister to my spirit now and I remember how, even then, when life was at its most confusing, I often found comfort and encouragement, even if in tiny doses, from the same. I shudder to think what my life would have been like and how it would have ended had I not had the hope of Christ to compel me forward. Just knowing that there was the Christ of the Cross who endured suffering for me gave reason for me to continue trying, to hold on if only for His purpose, His love, even when I couldn’t articulate why I was still putting one foot in front of the other; when it felt that wasn’t what I most wanted.

I spent time reading and listening to other words that did me no good; indeed, did me and others harm, and I marvel as the song I’ve been singing today also marvels at God’s redeeming love that just kept calling even when I was looking elsewhere for help. He just kept on providing and protecting and doing His good work on the inside of me while I went through the wilderness of my own making. Such love, such profound and enduring love is what we are called to as His children. I’ve learned that until a soul finds its worth and its purpose in Him alone, it will stumble through life attaching to other people, other things, other hopes and ending again and again in disappointment.

I hear the words of the young, “I don’t trust anyone.” I’ve been there. The worst part of that dark place is knowing you don’t trust yourself. You sort of know without knowing that you aren’t where you need to be and your own trustworthiness is lacking. No wonder the pain is so sharp and bitterness quickly ignites, but there’s the other side of the story. True enough that humans will fail you and that you will sometimes fail yourself. The other side of the story is that there stands a God who is ready and able to heal you and to bless you and to love you, and He is fully trustworthy. He is always who He says He is. He is unchanging and unchangeable and His proven love stands the test of time and circumstances, and those who fall into His love fully, they then are able to trust all to Him…

Until we can say and mean it, “Thy will be done” we have no certain foundation to rest on. Until we believe His plans are best, we waste all our energy trying to bring about what we want that is mostly based on fleeting, though powerful, feelings. How in the world did I ever come to understand that even the best a person can do, they cannot meet my deepest needs? I learned the hard way. I learned through repeated disappointments, devastating blows, and heartaches that are still sore from time to time. I also learned through scripture’s teaching; there’s not a personal experience I have had that isn’t represented somewhere in another’s journey that is recorded in scripture. I read about Jonah’s delayed trip to Ninevah, and I learn it’s best to obey God sooner rather than later. I read about Paul’s vigor in persecuting Christian’s until he is struck nearly blind by the devastating reality of who Christ is and the immediate and permanent transformation that resulted. I read about Mary submitting to God’s will even when it was beyond her understanding and would cost her much grief and I realize the benefit her sacrifice is to us all. I read about a hated tax-collector who Jesus chose to be His own disciple. I read about a leper who was healed, a blind man who received his sight, an adulterous woman who found her worth and was made whole by The Savior, and I read of the children of whom Christ said, “let them come to me.”

There’s food for the soul in the rich words of God and there’s help and hope for the suffering of all ages and all life’s stages when we lift what’s in our hands and on our hearts to The One Who Never Disappoints…

 

 

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