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Doug Creamer column: Changing our thinking

I like to spend time with people. I find it interesting to learn about someone’s background and generally what makes them tick. I am concerned when people are going through difficult times and I often wonder what can be done to make things better. I guess I listen well, but I am afraid I am not the best person at making a difference in those situations.
Most of the time my problem is not knowing exactly what I should do in a particular situation. Sometimes I am afraid to risk stepping out. A few weeks ago I was talking with someone who told me he was in pain. We talked about it, but I never took the initiative to ask this person if I could pray for him. I thought about it when I got to my car, but knew it would be awkward to go back and ask if I could pray with him.
This week I was talking with an individual who was fighting the crud. I think the sinus and stomach bugs have started to make the rounds a little early this year. This time it occurred to me while we were still talking that maybe I should pray with him. It’s such a simple, yet difficult thing to ask if you can pray for someone. Sadly, I missed another opportunity to possibly see God do something wonderful.
I met with another person last week who told me about something very personal they were dealing with. The longer we talked the more I realized that I could do something to change the situation. The only problem is that I needed their permission to intervene. When I asked, the individual declined, but when I asked why they wouldn’t let me help, they couldn’t answer. So in that case I was lucky and was able to make the connections that helped to make a little difference in that situation.
I am a very lucky person because I am often able to help my students find jobs. Over the years I have connected many students and employers who were perfect for each other. Nothing can compare to the feeling of making that kind of connection. It’s all about helping people and making a positive difference in my little corner of the world.
Sometimes I step out and God does something great. Other times I shrink back and God isn’t given the opportunity. What has to happen? I have to change my thinking in every situation. Every time I meet with someone, I have to stop and think that this might be an encounter where God wants to do something if I will open that door .
I believe more and more that God wants to reveal himself to us and to the world that so desperately needs him. The beauty of creation cries out that there is a God in heaven, but so many miss it. God wants a relationship with every person and I believe that he is willing to reveal himself through his power. God can break addictions, deliver people from horrific circumstances and heal mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Why doesn’t God do these things? First, I think we don’t ask him to. Second, many people believe that stuff only occurred in the Bible, not today. Third, I believe that some people don’t want to change. They are comfortable living with their problems and know if God really intervened then they would be responsible to change. Sadly, people resist God because following him means that things will change.
I want to encourage you to change your way of thinking. Consider the possibility that God could touch your life and change it. I want to encourage you to believe in a God who is bigger than your circumstances, who wants to help you lead a better life. The power of God is available for those of us who believe, but we have to change our thinking and ask him to invade our circumstances. Join with me as I hope to change my thinking and begin to expect God to show up in places we may not expect to find him, doing wonderful things to change people’s lives.
Creamer teaches at East Davidson High School. His website is www.dougcreamer.com You can e-mail him at doug@dougcreamer.com

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