We've noted that there can be people in our lives that need the transforming touch of our Father. Spouses, children, it makes no difference who they are, God is in the transforming business! We said last time that we need to be careful not to argue, and not to whine.
Lastly, we need to remember not to manipulate our person who needs transforming. Give God time to work. Sure, he can do it in a blink of an eye, if that is His plan. But maybe it's not. Give that person to God in our prayers -- He can deal with their stubbornness.
Let's look back at Abigail's story. When she returned home, the sheep shearing party was in full swing. Lots of food, lots of adult beverages, and a husband who was drunk and probably didn't even realize that she'd been gone.
Being the wise and honest woman that she was, Abigail waited until he had sobered up, and the next morning she told him the whole story. She told him about how David and four hundred of his soldiers were headed toward the ranch with deadly intent, and how she literally saved his life, and the lives of all who lived there.
Don't you know that Nabal really sobered up then? That was a shocking story. He was so frightened that he lay down on his bed and is immobilized with fear for ten days.....then he passed away from a stroke.
Word travels fast about Nabal's death. From the "Ponderosa" up the hill to David and his men. I expect that David started thinking and remembering his encounter with Abigail. In spite of the noise of the wheels turning in his head, I think we could have heard that he was thinking about how intelligent and beautiful she was. And the wisdom she showed -- she was experienced in dealing with willful, quick-tempered men! So, he sent his servants to propose marriage to Abigail, and she humbly accepts.
She became that "helper" that we talked about before. The wife who was "fitted" to him; she wisely helped him gain new traits of gentleness, patience, and the ability to think before he acted. Those were things that he lacked before, but in her gentle and quiet way, she could advise him.
In the same way, we can help our spouse or our kids, or some other person who needs transforming. God can take the difficult things of life and turn them around to our advantage. There's no need to manipulate things ourselves; if we are patient, God moves and transforms people and situations.
Now, we don't need to take away from this story, that our difficult person is going to pass away! Nope! God can move in many ways, and leave people on this earth to be a witness to his changing, transforming power!
See, we are on the grace side now. Christ's death on the cross is not only designed to get us into heaven, but to get heaven into us! (I heard a preacher say that once, and it stuck with me!)
God's grace can take a person and just like the clay on a potter's wheel, they can be remade into a new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! II Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17, KJV)And look at what Paul says to believing wives who are married to unbelieving husbands:
One of the important things to realize from this passage is that we can have an amazing influence (especially on our difficult people) for Christ! We don't know when they will become a believer, so we need to be patient.
Do you remember just how stubborn and fuzzy-headed the disciples were? They were changed, and transformed....they became the twelve apostles, and leaders of the New Testament churches!
Remember Saul? Arresting believers, throwing them in jail, persecution was his middle name! But God transformed him into the apostle Paul, and he influenced many people, started many new churches, withstood persecution himself, and wrote letters that have guided millions in their walk with God!
God can do the same thing for your difficult person, your person who needs transforming. It doesn't matter if it is your boss at work, your neighbor across the street, your cousin, your child, or your husband. If we are praying for them, then we can have a guarantee that God is working in their lives. Patience. Yep, it's a word we may flinch at sometimes; we are human and we want what we want, when we want it!
But we need to give God time.
What an example Abigail is for us . . . now you know why she is such a beloved character in the Bible. Beautiful inside and out, smart, patient, diplomatic, efficient . . . she didn't argue with someone who needed transforming, and she didn't whine or manipulate. She gave her God time to work, and was blessed in the long run.
Is there someone in our lives who needs God's transforming power? Maybe we even realize that we need that transformation ourselves?
Let's make it a matter of prayer - and let God do the rest! Be an Abigail!