Today would have been my brothers’ 56th birthday… and I miss him. We were only 14 months apart. Where Mark went, I went. Where I went, Mark went. As Forest Gump would have said, “we were like peas and carrots”.
My brother was not only brilliant, but Mark was such a fun-loving, energetic, and insightful man that everyone loved to be around him. I am sure you have met people like my brother. They are truly magnetic, but amidst the party of people that surrounded him, he always made time for me. I loved him and he loved me. He was my best friend growing up and my comfort during many bitter and stormy trials. I did not know the Lord then, but God in His faithful and everlasting love, gave me Mark, my truest companion to help soften the edges.
When I became a Believer in Y’eshua, Mark didn’t understand and yet, he gave me the benefit of the doubt and simply said, “You are going through a phase”. About ten years later after a series of poor choices, Mark came to stay with me and He too saw his need for a rescuing and forgiving Savior. Our God is such a lovely God and will cleanse and transform anyone who is willing into a new creation. Indeed, Yeshua took up residence in my brother. Mark became a temple, the dwelling place of the living God. Amen! Mark’s entire life was transformed. I have blogged many times about transformation.
Today in bible study, ironically God brought me to a narrative by John Ortberg in his book entitled, The Life You’ve Always Wanted. I share it anew with you.
“The desire for transformation lies deep within every human heart. This is why people enter therapy, join health clubs, get into recovery groups, read self-help books, attend motivational seminars, and make New Year’s resolutions. The possibility of transformation is the essence of hope. Psychologist Aaron Beck says that the single belief most toxic to a relationship is the belief that the other person cannot change.
This little word morph has a long history. It actually comes from one of the richest Greek words in the New Testament, and in a sense this little word is the foundation of this whole book. Morphoo means “the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person”. It was a term used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother’s body.
Paul used this word in Galatians [Gal 4:19]: “…until Christ is formed in you”. He agonized until Christ should be born in those people, until they should express His character and goodness in their whole being. Paul said they-like us- are in a kind of spiritual gestation process. We are pregnant with possibilities of spiritual growth and moral beauty so great that they cannot be adequately described as anything less than the formation of [Y’eshua] in our lives. …When morphing happens, I don’t just do the things that [Y’eshua] would have done; I find myself wanting to do them. They appeal to me. They make sense. I don’t just go around trying to do the right things; I become” … [Y’eshua]. John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted
Holy One and Master, please help us to allow Your Spirit to gestate inside of us. We do desire You to grow in us so that we are being transformed into Your image. In the majestic and righteous name of Y’eshua, our Messiah. Amen