The Power To Change Is Within Us, Thanks Be To God
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Many times in my life I’ve thought to myself, “I am who I am. I’m too old and it’s just too hard to change.” It’s easy to think that way. Easy to excuse my behavior because of difficult people or circumstances. In the past it was always comforting to blame everything and everyone but myself for my financial situation, my divorce and even my personal happiness. When I put it like that it sounds ridiculous. At one point, I think a part of me even blamed God for the way I felt. After all, he made me the way I am right? As I’ve come to know the Lord, I’ve been opened up to the truth. The Lord waits patiently with open arms for us all to walk with him and when we truly surrender to his love we find our peace. God has put within us this power to surrender, the ability to change.
Recently, I had a guest on whose story was so powerful that I was moved to do a 3 part series with him. His name is Pastor Pete Cropsey and he epitomizes our God given ability to change our lives and walk with him. I couldn’t help but recall scripture. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4 As I listened to Pastor Pete’s story I couldn’t help but see the man who struggled to feel complete, lacking in nothing.
At age 7, Pete Cropsey was a victim of violent molestation that lasted for almost 2 years. Pete was broken and began to think of himself as a “Lost Boy” always feeling the presence of something greater that was just out of his grasp. By age 13, Pete was smuggling Heroin in from Mexico and developed a very serious addiction to it that led to a life spent in and out of prison for various drug related crimes. When he wasn’t in prison Pete was a member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club living the life of an outlaw. Pete didn’t think he was worthy of God’s love and It wasn’t until things were darkest, that he allowed for the possibility that he could walk the path.
Pastor Pete’s testimony left me in awe of what Jesus could do. Our Lord sat in waiting for Pete, always letting him know that he was loved and would be welcomed when he was ready. That time finally came and Pete accepted Jesus into his heart and worked tirelessly to become a Pastor at Calvary Chapel. I reflected back on my own struggles which seemed very small in comparison and remembered how comforting it was to accept Jesus. All change seems possible when you walk with the Lord…all change.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28
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