How is it, with all the talk about how the Son will transform your life, that, for me, having a son transformed mine? For years I’d hear sermons claiming that welcoming Christ into your heart will make you a new person, living life like never before, with vigor and zeal to persevere in pleasing Him. However, that wasn’t the precedent that did it in my case. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but contemplating the path I’ve been on in my 41 years, the most notable changes, or transformations, took place after having a child. With the larger picture in hindsight, to wholly give credence to the birth of my son as the initiative to make wise decisions would be a blasphemous remark as the realization sets in that it was through this son in flesh that the Son worked.
God will undoubtedly bring us closer to seeing Him in varying ways. For some, the transforming work is immediate, beginning the very moment they accept that He is Lord of their life. For others, He still begins His work in us, but albeit, more slowly and through means that He has decided will pierce your soul as you stubbornly persist in complacency. Without a hint of doubt in His existence from my youth, I walked a fine line, balancing between my flesh-laden worldly desires and taking careful steps towards obedience in His Word. I drank…a lot. I partied…a lot. I played dangerous games in nearly all relational aspects. Life was like a game of chess, manipulating every move, planning each step ahead the longer in play, and making repeated attempts to gauge an opponents next move. My most grave mistake, although I hesitate to ever say regret, was in thinking I could play chess with God. When He enlightened my eyes to see the Truth back in my teens, He obviously had planned out a path towards holiness that would be at a snail’s pace, with a lovely trail of slime behind that I would use to His advantage later in life.
Most parents readily admit that having children changes their life. After the birth of my son, the changes were immediate and dramatic: no more alcohol, no more partying, and no more playing games in the ways I had before. None of these were prayed for, none were intentional, they just made sense. I missed the wanton freedom with intense longing as I entered this unfamiliar territory where I wasn’t the center of it. A God given non-negotiable character trait of responsibility and accountability had begun to take root in a tangible way, having an utterly dependent living being under my care. The years following would bring about convictions that were so foreign to me, and to a healthy portion of our society, in that I ended up being a full time Mom. Even through years of financial distress, my stubbornness to stay put where God had called me (yes, the phone actually rang) and kept me, there’s been an undeniable peace about this new life I’m engaged in. This little son of mine, entrusted by God to be cared for, has completely changed my life.
Through him, God’s been giving my selfish desires a hearty workout. Unconditional love, agape, the love God has for His own, is now better understood. Grief and bone crushing pain, through various health struggles in his short life, have broken down emotional walls I’d built and maintained in years past. All in all, I have been forced into feeling vulnerable, loving sacrificially, and nurturing a soul other than my own. God knows all things and, by this child, He knew a transformation would take place. Throughout the past nine years, intense growth in trusting Him and seeking His will above my own have brought about continued transformation, persistent testing of my faith in His workings, and learning what my purpose in this life really is. After all, isn’t that what we’re all searching for? A transformation, a purpose, an identity that defines who we are?
In conclusion, so that this sappy post remains focused on the real Son that transforms our lives, gives us purpose in our days, and provides us with the only identity worth having, I concede that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in flesh, has His mysterious methods for sanctifying the lives of His children. There is not to be shame over past transgressions or lifestyles lived that weren’t in obedience to His laws, but if whatever prompts us to partake in the changes, in whatever season you’re in, welcome that with open arms. Embrace the challenges He puts in front of you, even though you’re stubbornly shy and faithlessly fearful of trials and tribulations. It’s in those trying times that you’re drawn to seeking the solace only He can offer you, the trust in His sovereign will over yours, and the faith building exercises as you depend on Him who is unseen, but Him who sees all, knows your dirty deeds, and loves you through them as He sanctifies you through means that are sometimes seen.