A Power for Change
The night was very dark. I found it hard to sleep. It was quiet except for the hum of the car motor, but after several hours, the car pulled to a stop. We kids were scrunched up in the back seat of the car all sleeping except me. I heard my mom ask, “Which way, left or right? Where do we go?” We were heading down the road with no destination.
Although my parents had hardly any possessions, they had lots of “baggage”. The car had room enough to carry seven restless kids, two adults, and every problem accumulated in my parent’s dozen years of marriage. Each problem came with a forwarding address. The drinking problem became alcoholism, and anger grew into rage, producing a home filled with violence, fear, abuse, and a spirit of hopelessness and despair. There was lots of control, but no power to change.
At nights, my eyes would be closed, but my ears were always open. Hearing the screams, the drunken arguing and fighting was terrifying. We were all prisoners without choices or hope for change. As a teen I contemplated running away, but feared ending up in a situation worse than the one I was already in. I contemplated suicide, but my mind had no assurance or peace that the life hereafter would be any better than this one and if I took my life, my future would be sealed.
A different view
In my early teen years, I lived across the street from a classmate from school. Her home was different than mine. Her father was different than mine. At my house after dinner, my father would reach for a bottle. At her home after dinner, her father would reach for a Bible. I had never known a Christian family before. I decided that my family was the way we were because my father was an alcoholic. It made sense to me that her family must be the way they were because her father was a Christian.
By the time I turned eighteen, it was time for change. I wanted to be in control. I had longed for the time when I could make my own choices. I was invited to live with a cousin from another province and decided it was time to leave home. The first Sunday I was away from home I attended church. I heard from Romans 8:28 that God had a plan for my life, regardless of how out of control things appeared. I heard that God had “called” me for a special plan according to His purpose and plans. I looked at my life and I could see no evidence of a “plan”. Although I never had personal contact with God, I did believe that he existed. Was my need to be in control, coming in the way of God’s plan and call on my life? Could he turn all the horrible things in my life into something He could use for good? I hadn’t been able to turn my life into anything good. Why not let Him have control for awhile, especially if He’s got it all figured out already?
After a few weeks, a new friend offered me an opportunity to make my destiny certain. I wanted change. I wanted a new life. My friend explained that only God could give life and only through His Son Jesus Christ could anyone get this new life. I remembered my Christian friend from my early teen years. Then I realized that this was the life I wanted – new life in Christ. I prayed, inviting Christ to be my personal Savior and Lord. That day I found the power to change. Real power for real change.
A veil of darkness lifted from my life and for the first time I felt joy, peace and hope. I felt like I had something to live for. Of course I did. God had a plan for me. I remembered Romans 8:28 and it became clear to me. If God was going to use the pain in my life, then I could forgive those that had brought that pain into my life. Through the power of Christ, I was able to free myself from bitterness and anger. That one decision gave me the power to change from being a victim to a victor. The power to change never loses its intensity. Over time, His power changed the junk in my life into jewels. He took the victim and made her a victor. My destiny of hope has become a journey of joy as I walk with Jesus in his power and in his victory. I’ve found real power for real change for now and eternity.
Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?
Living with hope
If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.
Is this the life for you?
If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.