Sometimes God takes action to further transform us into the likeness of Christ and we can’t see or feel the work he is doing.  We can, however, notice that some things have changed within us, especially when our desires change.  Of course, it is easy to miss this work if we are not tuned into our inner being on a regular basis.

This type of transformational work is always a delightful surprise to me, and I love discovering that God is at work in me. . .and that I’m clueless about what he is doing, until I notice that I am different!  This happened a few weeks ago, and I am still marveling at how God changed my heart’s desires – and I did not feel it or see it happening!  I simply noticed one day that my desires were different in an area of my life that has been devastating for me. . .my relationship with food.

I have experienced incredibly deep struggles with food cravings and the inability to lose weight, and I have not understood why. All of my personal efforts brought only slightly marginal change, and never permanent change. And yet, after almost 60 years of this seemingly endless struggle, God has changed my heart, and my way of thinking about food. Now, instead of craving or emotionally seeking out food that I know is not good for my body, food that leaves me sleepy, lethargic, and even in pain, I now easily choose food that is “clean” and healthy, with absolutely no desire for food that can harm me.  How did this happen?  When did it happen?  I do not know.  All I know is that a specific clean eating opportunity was presented to me, I decided to give it a try.  I asked God, if this was indeed his path for me, to change my heart about food and about the program – for I was rather resistant to it.  He answered that prayer, and he changed my heart within two days!  Over five weeks later, the old way of thinking and the old desires have simply not returned.  This change feels like a miracle to me.

This experience reminds me that God is in control of the timing of when he will deal with issues in our lives.  And, HE is the one that will do the work.  This transformational work is not our own, yet we do have a role in this partnership with God.  If we remain faithful to our intimate relationship with God, he will continue to deal with the issues that plague us – in his timing, and not our own; in his way, and not our own.  I’ve learned that his timing is best.  I cannot force the issue; I can only make myself available to God, so that when God decides it is time, I am positioned to notice the insight he gives about the specific issue, as well as the gifts of healing and freedom that are the result of his deep inner work in me.  I can trust that God’s grace is sufficient for me until his time arrives for active transformational work to take place.

Why does he continue to work to bring us healing and freedom from the issues that bind us up?  I think it is simply because these things interfere with our ability to continually go deeper in intimacy with him.  He is most concerned with the status of our hearts, and he will continue to work to free us from those things that bind us up.  It seems that this is a central part of the transformation process.  It is his work alone, for the sake of his name.

The past two months have been filled with travel, Christmas with friends and family, play and work, as well as the standard fight against illness that is so common during the winter months.

Yet through it all, I have had a profound sense of experiencing the reality of Immanuel, God with us.  His presence has taken on the form of peace in the midst of so much activity.  Often, through the pressing needs and seeming shortage of time, I have been at peace, which has enabled me to more thoroughly enjoy what I was doing, and the people I was with.

This is a new development in my journey with God.  I have lived through decades of deep anxiety on a daily basis about almost everything I experienced in this world, as well as wondering what God would have me do with my life. This anxiety only deepened in seasons of impossible work loads, pressing family issues that demanded resolution, and a history of ill health for much of my adult life. Thus, this new sense of peace in the midst of all that has been going on seems miraculous to me.

As I have pursued inner healing for over 20 years for the many deep wounds of my heart and soul, I have not only found myself drawing closer to God over time, but also experiencing a profound peace that seems to expand and encompass more and  more of my waking hours with each new round of healing.

I am becoming convinced that one of God's deepest desires for his people is that we not only believe in his Son and the work of the cross and resurrection, but that through these truths we know experientially that Jesus truly is Immanuel, God WITH us!