i have a friend who is known for saying, "you can't argue with a changed life."
yeah, that's the truth. tonight i was encouraged to hear the story of a changed life. and i got to thinking about all the people i know who have the miraculous story of a changed life. a life redeemed from certain destruction. i got to thinking about the true reaches of this power i profess to believe, the power of resurrection, the power of death becoming alive. i got to thinking about how little i believe for those lives around me who are in desperate need of becoming the story of a changed life.
i have a friend who was an addict. violent. angry. divorced. bankrupt. estranged. and now he is clean. gracious. loving. patient. forgiving. employed. becoming a father again. seeing the work of God's grace in his life.
i have a friend who was a gang member. drug addict. poser at a christian college. God brought him to his knees, to his face, literally. and redeemed his life from the pit. gave him grace to be a leader, leading countless people to the Lord and working to be an agent of justice in a broken world.
i have a friend who was unfaithful. and subsequently rejected. abandoned. and now is whole and complete, lacking nothing.
i have a friend who was ruled by an eating disorder. and now is free.
i have a friend who was bitter with the Lord for her lot in this life. and now is joyful at the wisdom and providence of what God has given.
i have a friend who was angry, prideful, never admitting she was wrong. she estranged all friendships and most family relationships. she nearly broke apart her family. she was depressed and out of control. and now she is learning how to say, "i'm sorry, please forgive me." how to control her temper. how to maintain even the most difficult relationships. how to love those who have hurt her.
i have a friend who dared to speak the unspeakable word, "divorce," for the lack of hope for her marriage. but she put her hope instead in the Lord, and was able to watch Him transform her husband and her marriage into something better than it ever could've been before.
i have a friend who was betrayed and broken by a fiance's broken promise. she waited on the Lord, and He delivered to her something better, something that could not have been so sweet if it had not been framed by the heartache.
time would fail me to finish the stories of redemption, were i to continue. but you get the idea.
this, today, is not the final word. this is not the end of the story. you may have seen yourself in one of the stories above; i can see myself in nearly all of them. and so come with me, let us put our hope in the Lord, the only One who can bring life out of death, who can bring something out of nothing. this is the proof of what is possible with the Lord: you can't argue with a changed life.