John Ortberg (The Life You’ve Always Wanted) tells us that the Greek word morpho is one of the richest words in the New Testament and in a sense forms the foundation for this book. The author goes on to explain the essence of this transformation:
“When morphing happens, I don’t just do the things Jesus 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 the right sort of person.”
This is change from the inside out. To emphasize this point, Pastor Ortberg relates the story of a woman named Mabel, as told to him by his friend Tom Schmidt.
Mabel was 89 years old and had lived in a state-run convalescent hospital for 25 years. Strapped up in her wheelchair, Mabel was blind, nearly deaf and alone. Her face was disfigured by cancer. Tom once asked Mabel what she thought about all day. Mabel replied that she thought about Jesus and His sustaining goodness in her life. What Mabel had, John Ortberg observes, was incredible power. Like Moses encountering the burning bush, her hospital room was holy ground.
Our ministry downsizing or position loss certainly pales in comparison to Mabel’s situation, but her story is not designed to induce guilt trips. Mabel is a shining example of what God’s transforming power will do in our lives.