“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
It’s still February. Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, the gloomy chill-to-the-bone days seem to go on forever. Spring can’t get here soon enough!
I didn’t make any significant New Year’s resolutions, using the winter season to regroup, reorganize, and rededicate my plans. Now, what I’m really hankering for is a transformation.
Several years ago, popular television shows focused on makeovers—for fashion, weight loss, beauty treatments, and fitness. The shows featured people who yearned to appear and feel better about themselves. Experts were brought in to give them a new look or healthy image.
By the end of each show, the subjects were completely transformed from a sad, bedraggled state into a “star” at the “big reveal.” Those of us on the viewer side of the screen envied those remarkable makeovers, wishing we too could go from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.
Right now, while waiting to see our landscape turn from brown to green, I’m longing for the same kind of makeover, but on the interior—a transformation of the soul.
The apostle Paul knew that kind of transformation while on the road to Damascus. The resurrected Christ revealed Himself in a brilliant light and with a voice from the heavens that shook Paul to his core. By the time Jesus was done with Paul, He had transformed Paul from a death-threatening persecutor into the pinnacle missionary for Christianity (see Acts 9).
In fact, Paul later encouraged the Romans to seek and nurture the same kind of makeover he had experienced: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
This kind of transformation, however, isn’t something we can generate all by ourselves. The caterpillar doesn’t one day just decide to be a butterfly. Its Creator is in charge. He set up a life cycle by which the lowly worm goes through a tough process—from a hardening of its skin or cocoon, a long wait inside a confined space, a ripping open of fragile wings for nerve-tingling exposure to the elements, and then—the sudden debut of a jaw-dropping-beautiful new creature that takes flight.
Hmmm. I’m not so sure I want to endure everything in a transformation like that. I’d rather skip all that in-between stuff and cut straight to the “star reveal.”
But that’s not how God often does things. Yes, He makes all things new, including us. His mercies are new every morning. Sometimes, though, He takes poor sinners like me and drags us through painful sanctification before bringing us to the other side. It’s because Jesus has a vested interest in us—He wants us to become more like Him, to be His very own children who look and act like Him. Paul had to endure the same kind of suffering, too, before receiving the new vision of proclaiming Christ to the world.
Want spiritual growth? Want a complete transformation of your soul? Be careful what you ask for—God may answer that prayer in unexpected, painful, bewildering ways. He’s the potter, and we’re only clay. He make take us through the fire. But oh, what we may experience on the other side! What glories await us in heaven! How beautiful He makes all things in His time! Bring it on.
Friend, in this season before the frozen earth thaws, ask your Savior to transform your heart for His kingdom. May He give us all a refreshing newness of life and vision as we eagerly await His triumphant return.
Jesus, we need Your transforming love and power. Take our sinful souls, wash us clean from our sins, and go about Your handiwork in making all things about us new. By Your grace, prepare us to serve You in Your kingdom work. In Your name, Amen.
© Copyright 2023 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
To learn more about the grace of Jesus Christ, go to this page: https://lightbournecreative.com/good-news-for-you/