We’ve been chatting about the need for a do over here at Facets of Faith this month. Tracy and Jen started the conversation. Be sure to check out their thoughts! Now it’s my (Kim) turn but be sure to come back next week for a special guest!
I love singing and dancing movies. When my oldest daughter was little, we enjoyed many a rainy afternoon snuggled next to each other watching Sound of Music and Newsies, Meet Me in St. Louis and State Fair. Well, I sat as she sang and danced along.
So when news of Debbie Reynold’s death hit the internet a couple of weeks ago, my heart broke.
The unsinkable Molly Brown wasn’t so unsinkable after all.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is, perhaps, one of my favorite musicals. It has all the makings of my favorite type of story: an underdog who gets a chance, an unlikely romantic match, and a huge obstacle that is ultimately overcome.
In this case, the obstacle was Molly Brown herself.
Molly needed a do over. She longed to fit in with Denver society but her past spoke louder than her manners and furthered the divide between herself and those with whom she longed for acceptance. So off she and her husband went to gain an education in Europe. She returned with new skills, new speech, new clothes, and even new friends.
The problem — you can take the girl out of the woods, but you can’t fully take the woods out of the girl. Her do-over ended up being skin deep, a behavioral change. When faced with choosing her old friends over some from Denver society . . . well, let’s just say the food fight was one of my favorite scenes. Afterwards, she became the talk of the town and was rejected . . . again. What she needed wasn’t a behavioral change, it was a heart change.
Have you ever done that? Known you need a do over, a second chance, only to find all you did was try to manage your actions?
You want to lose that last 25 pounds but work is so stressful, you cope with chocolate.
Your kids are in that season of constant need and attention and your frustration reveals its ugly head —loudly—more often than you care to admit.
That issue your friend last month, the one you thought was resolved? You heard she was talking about it with a mutual friend. Resentment crept in and you realized maybe you hadn’t forgiven like you thought. You had just kept quiet.
You know you need to make different choices. You try. You pray. You strive. You know you’re in need a do over but the idea of work is just. plain. exhausting.
There’s another story about a lady in desperate need of a do over, where her life, too, was the talk of the town. Rejected and avoided, she often traveled to the well outside of town at the hottest time of day just to avoid the whispers and looks.
But then she encountered someone who did more than try to manage her behavior, He changed her heart. The giver of the ultimate do over sat in front of her, asking for a drink of water, and she didn’t even see it coming.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19, NLT
But Jesus knew. He knew, He saw her, and He loved her enough to transform her.
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10, NLT
How did He create the ultimate do over in her life?
He spent time with her.
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’” John 4:7, NLT
He, a Jewish man, spoke to her, a Samaritan woman.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.” John 4:9, NLT
He invited her to experience him.
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14, NLT
He revealed her deepest secrets.
‘I don’t have a husband,’ the woman replied. Jesus said, ‘You’re right! You don’t have a husband – for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth.” John 4:17, NLT
He offered no condemnation but revealed Himself to her.
Then Jesus told her, ‘I AM the Messiah.’” John 4:26, NLT
Those words changed her life forever. She experienced the ultimate do-over. Jesus changed her heart that day by a simple encounter. No longer was she an outcast whom others avoided. “The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possible be the Messiah?’ So the people came streaming from the village to see him.” John 4:28-29, NLT
Sure, some were curious. Maybe others went because they didn’t believe her and needed to see for themselves. Regardless of their motives, she experienced a do over because Jesus transformed her heart.
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” John 4:39, NLT
He offers this same encounter with us. All of it. Because a true do over in life is more than a behavior change, it’s about the transforming work that we cannot do on our own, in our strength. Only Jesus can.
Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT
Are you ready to allow Him to transform your heart?
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