I’ve been praying for a friend who’s going through some relational conflict. As a recovering people pleaser, I can attest that one of the worst feelings in the world is when I have felt that someone is upset with me and I don’t know what to do to put it right.
I can also testify that there have been times in my life when I’ve prayed for God to change my circumstances and my surroundings to make my life easier and more bearable. Lately, I think what God’s been prompting me to pray for isn’t so much for God to change my environment but to change me in the midst of my environment.
I remember Dan Allendar said something like that if your cry for relief is greater than your cry for a changed and transformed heart, you’re never gonna grow up. You’ll never find transformation as long as you cling to comfort and familiarity instead of venturing out into change and healing.
It’s the question Jesus asked to the man who had waited at the Pool of Bethesda: “Do you want to be made well?”
In other words, do you want healing and wholeness, no matter how painful and protracted the process may be, no matter how much it costs?
Relationally speaking, if I am at odds with someone else, I may be seeking God to change the other person while God might be seeking to transform me. As humbling as it may seem, the place to start for reconciliation is to look in the mirror first through the lens of God’s grace to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.
God, change me in the midst of my circumstances so that I can look more like you, regardless of whether or not my circumstances change. I submit myself to you completely. Have your way in me. Amen.