One of the great joys in kingdom living is to participate in or hear about breakthroughs in people’s lives. At All Saints Dallas, we talk a lot about profound transformation. This kind of transformation takes place when we have a safe place to be transparent, be honest, take the masks off and allow the Holy Spirit to do His transforming work.
I love having the opportunity to hear about what God is doing in people’s lives across The Mission. Transformations and breakthroughs usually take place through some kind of a crisis or suffering. Removing the conditions of what we think God should be doing in our lives, we can more readily accept what he is doing because he loves us. When the shepherd seeks a lost sheep, he often has to throw them to the ground, bind them up and carry them on his shoulders. No doubt it hurts both the shepherd and the sheep, but it’s done out of love.
Let me share a few of the breakthroughs and transformations that are taking place in my parishioners’ lives—often through pain and suffering, though not always. One person had some shame and guilt from past experiences. Coming to the edge of chunking the whole faith thing, he faced a crisis moment. These moments can be deeply disturbing for people who are brought up in the faith. Nevertheless, these transition moments can serve to actually strengthen us as we face the near possibility of walking away from it all. Through this situation, there was a deep and intimate return to Christ, and now, a new freedom and joy. This person has a newfound willingness to share with others and encourage them as they go through these kinds of moments.
Another parishioner’s faith is coming alive in a new way because of outreach. Transformation takes place as we begin to value each encounter we have with those we know or don’t know. In this particular person’s job, he encounters people in difficult financial situations. Often, he offers to pay the electric or water bill simply to help someone out with an immediate need. As good as that is for the person receiving the help, it is doing so much more for the giver. It really is “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This person expressed to me, “I never knew how much fun it is to help other people. I wish I had been doing this all my life.”
I continue to rejoice that prayers for healing, reconciliation, guidance, provision, forgiveness, repentance and salvation are constantly being answered around The Mission. We often pray for revival in our country. I say, let it begin with each one of us.