Lord, change ME! ~ emphasis on me rather than circumstances
A few weeks ago I realized that I've begun praying more "Lord, please change ME" prayers, whereas last year I was praying almost exclusively "Lord, please change my circumstances" prayers. Shortly after coming to this realization, my friend Alicia posted the following status on Facebook...
Sometimes I really want a circumstance change even when I know what I need is a heart change.This succinctly describes me throughout most of last year. I was so focused on asking God to make everything turn out the way I wanted, it never occurred to me to ask Him to make ME turn out the way HE wanted! He had to tear some things away from me in order to get my attention, and over the past few months He has broken down my pride and revealed SO MANY areas in my life that have needed growth. The process has been very painful but I'm so thankful that He is changing ME, not just my circumstances.
LORD, change me! ~ emphasis on God rather than me
With every day that goes by I see more and more that I have a natural tendency to get preoccupied with fears about the future (amongst other things) that will probably always be a struggle for me -- call it paranoia -- but I'm getting quicker at recognizing these bouts of worry as a mental battle being waged against me by the one who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He tries to suck me into the "What if?" game, and instead of just falling prey to it like I have in the past, I've started resisting him -- typically by turning to logic (Why waste time and energy worrying about something that might not even happen?), faith (I DO believe God is sovereign!), and, most importantly, Scripture ("So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself..." Matthew 6:34; "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?" Luke 12:25).
I think these are all good things, but I also think I tend to get so wrapped up in trying to fix things myself, I neglect to seek God's help. And when I try to do things in my own strength, I fail every time! So I am trying to be more intentional about simply asking God to remove things from my life that I recognize as detracting from His glory -- things like worry and fear.
As all these things came together in my mind this afternoon, I felt an amazing sense of PEACE wash over me. That peace brought with it a freedom that is allowing me to live in the moment and make the most of the present instead of being consumed by concerns for the future. It is a GREAT feeling!!!
I am a work in progress... I know we all are, but I think I'm one of those people who too often has to learn things the hard way. But God hasn't given up on me yet, and I'm thankful for that. As goes the conversation between Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred in the movie "Batman Begins,"
Alfred: Why do we fall, sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.
Bruce: You still haven't given up on me?
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying,
yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16