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God Changes Lives

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

I was recently at a funeral of one of Anita’s cousins, sitting with the family just a little ahead of the center of the auditorium on the right hand side. As I looked around, it was then and there, that the years which had passed by so quickly began to really show. Though I was looking mostly at the backs of heads, I could still see the age difference overcoming each person since the time I joined the family forty years ago.

The preacher was a guy I went to high school with, and as he spoke, all I could do was note the difference in him and others, including myself, from what we were to where we are now.

As I gazed to the left, my eyes fixed on my brother in law, Junior. When Anita and I first met, Junior was about eight years old. I came from a family where you almost had to have permission to sneeze. Junior was a great kid, but in my eyes, he was as wild as a March hare. I had never seen such. He went everywhere he went wide open.

I remember through his teenage years how he was wild and wooly and moving at the speed of light. He was in and out of one thing or another, worrying all of us to death. We feared for his safety, his health and his eternal consequences.

As I sat there looking at him during the funeral, I saw a completely different person. I saw an easygoing, soft spoken, humble and purposeful man. I saw the gray creeping up into his hair from the lower edges of his hair line. I thought of how his life had been dedicated to Christ and how he had removed himself from the list of the activities of his youth. He is settled and purposeful. God is first in his life and he will not mince words letting you know that now.

My eyes ran to my sister in law, who for her whole adult life has struggled to find her balance and her place in God’s way. I marveled at how she gently, but purposefully lead him to this point in his life, being involved when he would not, serving and working in the kingdom with or without him. I watched their family fall into the same trail, forming before our very eyes a family unit of God-serving, God-loving people.

God is powerful and we are often so ignorant of the simplicity of His ways. Gentle, consistent, and loving, He will follow us through the process. And if we will but allow, He will change us into something useful and productive, bring us into His family and ultimately fulfill our every need.

God can change people. Don’t give up on them or yourself!