Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
If . . . it were just up to me, what hope would there be to change myself, to be truly different? I have sinned and failed, sin and fail, and will sin and fail. I go back to worn out paths too easily. No, I don't look to sin now, or want to, but like Paul I can still at times say, "For I don't do the good I want to do, but instead do the evil that I don't want to do." (Romans 7:19) Usually my failures now are more about inner attitudes and pride than outer actions. But they're there!
Truthfully I once thought there was absolutely no help for me. And I told God so. I said, or shouted, "You can't help me!"
But . . . God laid hold of me. And I am changed. Surprisingly changed! I said, "God, my life, it's too big a mess. You can't help me!" And I added, because I had come to know the Carpenter's Son, the One who takes His many Carpenter's tools to build and remodel, I said to Him cordially, "but thanks for wanting to help me . . .to change me."
But He didn't just want to . . . change me -- He changed me!
Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. That's what Paul said. He lived it. And now He also laid hold of me, and I live it. He has me! I am His. It's not because of what I've done, or what I can do about the change I need, or will do -- that I am different; it's because of whose I am. He takes His wrecking ball to my life and remodels it completely.
"For we are His workmanship, created (rebuilt, remodeled) in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (before we even knew how much we could mess it up, God had a plan), that we should walk in them (that we should walk in good works on this journey for Him)." (Ephesians 2:10)
God laid hold of me . . . His workmanship. I am the Carpenter's Son's workmanship -- a work in progress, as people say -- and that makes all the difference on my life's journey and yours. Not the messes of our lives making the difference, but the One who lays hold of me makes the difference, changes everything. I told that to a Muslim woman yesterday, that Jesus could change everything. And she said, "Pray for me."
Now I pray . . . that she may lay hold of that, and that you and I live laying hold of that.
Audrey Marie Hessler
Audrey Marie Hessler,