A powerful word weakened by overuse. Forget make-up and extreme makeovers. Making up for lost time? Maybe. Making up our minds? Sometimes.
Thomas Kelly told his Haverford College professor, “I am going to make my life a miracle!” He worked very hard as a scholar also at Harvard, ministered to German prisoners (1917-18) and pastored a Quaker community in Berlin (1924-25). By age 43, after teaching at Earlham College and University of Hawaii, he began teaching philosophy at Haverford. The next year (1937) in a time of physical and mental exhaustion Kelly “had an experience that ended the strain and striving. His efforts were now aimed at developing an acquaintance with God, not merely acquiring knowledge about God.” Rufus Jones cited Thomas Kelly’s Testament of Devotion as one of “a very few great devotional books.”
Who helps us make it through the night and makes each life a miracle? “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:4, 5).
Every day our Maker delights to make our day. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
“We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the good work he has gotten ready for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Ruth Palmer discovered her good work at age 40+ “after a year of fervent prayer for God to restore joy and purpose to my life.” Now her artworks are displayed in six countries and she has several times been named an artist of the month by art.com. Palmer testifies “Jesus made me do it.”
I enjoy making lists. Here are my “Make me” prayer songs:
Make Me a Captive, Lord (1890)
Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free; force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be. I sink in life’s alarms when by myself I stand; imprison me within thine arms, and strong shall be my hand.
Have Thine Own Way (1901)
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still. Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Hold o’er my being absolute sway. Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always living in me.
Make Me a Blessing (1924)
Out in the highways and by-ways of life, many are weary and sad; Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife, making the sorrowing glad. Make me a blessing, make me a blessing. Out of my life may Jesus shine; make me a blessing, O Saviour, I pray, make me a blessing to someone today.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (1967)
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love; where there is injury, your pardon, Lord; and where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope; where there is darkness, let me bring your light; and where there’s sadness, ever joy. O Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul. Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; in giving to all people, we receive; and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.