Magic Wand or Miraculous Transformation?

It’s no wonder that we delight in and relate to our favorite fairy tale princesses. After all, we are royalty – real princesses – chosen & redeemed daughters of our heavenly King! And our real-life stories of miraculous transformation in Christ are incomparably better and sweeter than the make-believe tales of magic and wishes-come-true. In recent posts (Once Upon a Time & Magic Mirror on the Wall), I’ve begun sharing brief vignettes of fairy tale classics for the purpose of illustration. As I continue, I pray that God will use each to speak to your heart and guide you in your real-life story in Christ.

Take a peek at this video vignette from Cinderella:

video

“Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!” Ah, the magic wand of transformation!
With a wave and some words, Cinderella’s fairy godmother used her wand to instantly transform mice into men, a pumpkin into a coach, and Cinderella’s rags into a glorious ballgown! It all looked so simple, didn’t it?! And who wouldn’t desire transformation like that?! These changes enabled a young woman, forgotton & forsaken by her family, to pursue her dream to attend the grand ball! (And if you remember how the storyline continued from there, you know what a life-changing night that turned out to be!)

Cinderella exclaimed, "It's like a dream - a wonderful dream come true!" Have you dreamed that someone would wave a magic wand over you to make your dreams come true and change what's lacking in your life? What would that kind of on-the-spot transformation look like? “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!” Cellulite – gone! Zits or wrinkles – vanished! Internet problems – fixed! Work schedule –adjusted! Broken relationships – restored! Financial issues - solved! Sassy children – compliant! Attitude – adjusted! Frustrations with family – resolved! Bitterness – suddenly sweet! 

Instant transformation. Yes, from the silly to the serious, these on-the-spot changes would be nice! But instant results via a magic wand? No thanks. There is something very problematic about the whole "magic wand" concept. (Of course, there's the obvious: it’s make-believe! Sorry to burst your bubble if you were caught up in fairy tale land!) But let's play pretend for just a moment and look at the magic wand’s other issues: FIRSTin our selfish, sinful human desires, we want it waved in our direction and according to our timing. That means NOW! Instantaneously! We make it all about us as we desire immediate gratification and instant change.

SECOND, and also due to our selfish desires, we only want it waved in a way that will benefit us according to our narrow and short-sighted scope. Do we know, especially in the grander, wide-angle view of life, what’s best for us? Maybe we’ve even treated prayer like a magic wand. We’ve asked for our dream to come true, so where is it? “God, didn’t you hear? Why didn’t you respond to my wish immediately (with a YES)?” 

But God’s ways are better: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) 


In His wisdom, The Lord’s answer may be “YES, my child. Yes, and even more abundantly than you can imagine!” (Even though you might not recognize it at first!) Then again, His answer may be, NO, because that is not what’s best for you, even though you desperately want it right now.” Or “WAIT – I’m working in others and in you to work this out miraculously in my exact timing for your good and for my purpose.”

Trust that He hears every prayer. He knows how you struggle with cellulite. He hears your frustrations with family and finances. He feels your anger and your hurt. He is at work in your circumstances and in you. Unlike Cinderella’s pitiful family, He cannot forget you; He will not forsake you. And He forgives you for your selfish desires. 

A THIRD problematic issue with the wand is its so-called “magic” qualities. Completely INcomparable to make-believe magic is the REAL miraculous work of our Lord and His power to transform! He needs no wand and no magic words, but by His perfect and powerful Word He is powerfully at work in you. He trades your “filthy rags” for a royal robe. (As a girl, this was my very favorite part of Cinderella’s transformation. I wanted a ballgown like hers in the worst way! Only later did I realize that I am dressed in something so much greater.) The imagery of Cinderella's rags-to-gown transformation can serve to remind us of the real and miraculous transformation God works in us. 




The Old Testament prophet Isaiah speaks of our “filthy rags”. We are unclean – stained by our sin – and our futile attempts to act righteously on our own or by our good deeds are no more than "polluted garments". (Isaiah 64:6) Christ took our filthy rags upon Himself at the cross and gave us, instead, His "robe of righteousness". (Isaiah 61:10) We are covered in Christ - dressed in His royal robe - made right with God by His grace through faith in our Savior!


And He continues His transformation work in us! Ephesians 4:22-24 says "to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Check out Ephesians 4:25-32 to learn more about what we put off and what we put on, according to Christ's continued transformation work in us!)


One FINAL issue with the magic wand: It was only temporary! At the stroke of Midnight – poof! – Cinderella’s seemingly perfect transformation was undone. Not so with God’s work in you! The whole rags-to-royal-robes thing? DONE. Salvation is yours by faith in Christ! No one can remove your royal robe of righteousness from you. 


And He continues His good work in you… The Holy Spirit is continually working to change you for your spiritual good and for His purpose, transforming you that you can reflect Him to the world around you as you continue "to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God"! 


As He continues to transform you, the dreams that you wish to come true will begin to line up with His plans for you! 

3 comments:

  1. What is such a cool thing to remember is that unlike Cinderella, we do not change to rags at the stroke of midnight. We are constantly being changed from glory to glory so our rags are changed forever and stay as a gorgeous ball gown.

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  2. I am so very reassured by the knowledge that even though I may not be able to comprehend and see the long-term plans the Lord has for me--I know He has them, for my good, no matter how "today" seems. His ways and thoughts and plans certainly are bigger and better than mine!

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  3. Thank you, Betty, for the beautiful comment! How reassuring to know that we remain clothed in a gorgeous gown - Christ's robe of righteousness - never to return to our former rags. Praise God for His continual transformation work in us!
    Also reassuring is the fact that His long-term plans for us are ALWAYS for our good, even when we don't see and can't understand them yet. Thank you, Shelly, for your insightful comment!

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