Monday, September 26, 2016

Longing for Transformation

The following guest post by author, Kimberly Drew, is an excerpt from her new release with co-author, Jocelyn Green
Photo by Gualberto107. Published on 19 May 2013
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (esv)

Getting my daughter dressed every morning includes fitting her legs into orthopedic braces which force her limbs into an uncomfortable position. Those braces fight a daily battle against what the cerebral palsy tells her little body to do. The goal is to stretch and loosen the tightness in the legs, allowing her to walk properly. The constant stretching is supposed to help with the overall tightness by keeping her legs from going back to their natural muscle tone.

But Abbey’s sickness isn’t in her legs—it’s damage done in her brain for which there is no repair apart from God’s miraculous healing. When I put on her braces in the morning, I recognize the symbolism of forcing her body to do something that is only a temporary solution to her problem. It is exactly what is happening in my own life at times: I am trying to “force” myself to do the right things to honor God.

It’s not a bad thing to want to be more like Christ, but doing good out of obligation is only a temporary solution to a depraved mind. What I really need is spiritual transformation, possible only through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit living in me. Apart from him, there is nothing I can do to treat my sickness that will have any permanent effect.

The tense for the verb “transformed” in Romans 12:2 implies that it is not a onetime thing, but a process of being continually transformed. Its Greek word, metamorphousthe, in English is “metamorphosis.” To be metamorphosed into something completely new, I have to want to be changed. I have to connect to the God who changes me, owns me, and loves me.

The process of peeling myself away from the patterns of this world is often painful and uncomfortable, just like Abbey’s legs being forced to do what feels unnatural to her body. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I continually renew my mind in Christ. The result: pleasing God, which was once forced, becomes more natural because of the Spirit’s work of transformation in my heart and soul. I read and meditate on his Word, spend time in prayer, and fellowship with other believers. I begin to see life through a biblical, God-centered perspective rather than through my own self-tinted lens. This transformation in my life brings him glory. As others see the Lord working in me and changing me, I can give testimony to Christ in my life.

As we watch and help our children endure pain to improve physically, let it be a reminder that beyond physical healing, true spiritual healing can be claimed in Christ as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Dear Lord, help me to be truly transformed by the renewing of my mind. It’s the only way that I can have lasting change and not conform to the patterns of this world. I thank you that I have your Holy Spirit working in me and that you promise to finish in me what you began by making me more like Christ. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Digging Deeper
       1.   Name one area of your life in which you’d like to experience some transformation.
       2.   In what ways have you been transformed since your special child came into your life?
       3.   In what area of your heart may God be trying to work right now?

Kimberly Drew is a graduate of Taylor University, with a degree in elementary education. She had been married to her college sweetheart, Ryan, since 2000 and live with their four children. They also have a son, who is waiting for them in heaven. She developed a passion for children with special needs and their parents after their firstborn daughter suffered a traumatic birth which resulted in multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, hearing loss, and microcephaly. From these experiences, and a heart to see and know Christ more, came the desire to help other parents grow in their Christian walk through their own experience raising a child with special needs. In 2016, they adopted their fourth child, a baby girl with special needs. Kimberly has been serving alongside Ryan in full-time youth ministry since they were married.

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