Friday, June 13, 2014

You've Changed

I, like many others, have often struggled with "why does God let bad things happen?" thoughts. Why is God letting this happen? Why won't God take this pain from me? Why is God so cruel? Why does He send so many people into my life who hurt me? Why does He put me in relationships which are filled with abuse and betrayal? Why? Why? Why?!?

Well, I don't have the answers to those questions. Free-will and personal responsibility arguments aside, sometimes there just isn't an adequate answer. Sometimes, bad things just happen. But, I have learned one thing...

When we focus on the bad - when we focus on throwing the blame on God - we blind ourselves to how He is working in us and with us and through us. Often, we go beyond blinding ourselves to these things - we put up walls so thick and heavy, we don't let Him work in us, with us, or through us.

Earlier today, a friend told me something that hit me more than I thought possible. It was a rather simple phrase - "You have grown and changed in remarkable ways..." Normally when someone says something like this, I smile, politely dismiss it (even if temporarily happy or proud at what is said), and go back to seeing the dark. I go back to seeing all the stupid things I've done and said. I go back to seeing all the evil and pain in the world.

And, I tried that this time. But the words kept echoing. I reread them a few times, playing them over in my head, arguing a bit with myself regarding the truth in that simple statement, feeling them rolling around in my heart and mind.

I haven't changed. He changed something inside me.

One person, working with God, letting God work through him, changed me. Or at least opened the door to allow God to change me.

God doesn't always put a stop to the evil that happens in the world. But He is watching out for us. He does put people into our lives to hold our hands through the tough times. Because of those blinders though, we often don't recognize these people for what they are. We often don't let them inside our walls.

And, when we're living behind those walls, we don't let ourselves be there for others. We don't want to get behind someone else' wall. We don't let God use us to help another.

I saw a post earlier today: Controversial Anti-Jesus Spikes Prevent Jesus from Going to Church. I had those spikes around my heart and soul. No one could get in. No one could get out. Including God. I didn't change - someone helped me remove the spikes.

Once the spikes are gone, the walls are down, and the blinders are removed - we change. God can come in. And, more importantly, God can come out. That alone is enough to stir change - and that alone is something we should all strive for.

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