Picture a colorful scarf blowing in the breeze. Its movements are one of grace and beauty. Just looking at it puts a smile on your face. Even after being blown about severely, it’s beauty remains, none the worse for wear.
Now take that same scarf and starch it. It still has beauty, although diminished. But when strong winds come, it becomes tattered, bent out of shape, and torn in spots. It has lost its appeal.
What’s the difference?
This scarf is an outward manifestation of our heart’s condition. If our hearts are pliable, then our lives will be beautiful to God and onlookers. Additionally, we will be usable for God’s purposes because we are flexible. The opposite is also true.
I used to get so bent out of shape with the slightest breeze of trouble or inconvenience. Hyper, readily flustered, impatient, super-sensitive and thus easily hurt described me to the T. I was not a happy camper or fun to be around. (How in the world did my husband ever put up with me?!)
Gratefully, after I got saved the Lord began to change me. He had His work cut out for Him, though (and still does). But He is the God of the impossible.
More and more He is teaching me to relax and go with the flow—His flow; yielding to His will in everything.
This is a remarkably better way to live!
God can change anyone if they are willing. Just look at Peter—before and after the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 12:1-7 we read Peter was arrested; awaiting trial before King Herod who had just killed James for his faith. There he was sleeping—deeply. The angel had to strike Peter to wake him up! That’s not how I would have reacted, nor Peter beforehand. But now he wasn’t worried; he had developed a quiet trust in God for his fate.
How does that type of drastic change come about?
It can only happen by a humble submission to God. We have to be willing to let God have His way with us; allowing Him to remove the junk from our minds and hearts.
“Be still, and know that I am God…I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps 46:10)*
Be still in the original language means to cease striving; to stop fighting against God who is the One to be exalted on the earth and in our lives.
We need to develop a pliable heart.
If we want to come out un-shredded in the tumultuous winds of life, we must yield to God’s hands as He molds us into the likeness of His beautiful Son.
For most people submission is a dirty word. But I have found it to be a beautiful one!
Living a submitted relaxed life is beneficial not only for us but to those around us. Its beauty is attractive to a lost and empty world, and an encouragement to believers to live God’s way—the best way.
A surrendered life depicts lovely, graceful movement orchestrated by the grace of God.
But most importantly it is beautiful because it is so in His eyes. He looks upon a compliant heart with deep satisfaction as to what He has produced, and with joy as to what He can now do.
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:4)**
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.