Wednesday, March 9, 2011

find and replace

I have officially finished my Masters thesis [insert huge sigh of relief]. It has been an exciting project to work on in many ways, but the past few days have been swallowed up by the most tedious of tasks: editing. Each of the 81 pages, 201 footnotes, and 35,000 words had to be carefully checked for errors.

Yesterday I was counting my blessings as I used "find and replace" to locate every instance where I had two spaces and needed only one, every time I capitalized the word gentiles or scripture (and shouldn't have), and every place where I wrote out a whole word like "Exodus" when I should have abbreviated. I would still be sitting here editing were it not for the terrific programmer who invented "find and replace." God bless him or her!

It made me think.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a "find and replace" function for life?  I would love to "find" all the messes in my house and replace them with "order."
..."find" exhaustion and "replace" it with energy.
..."find" impatience and "replace" it with gentleness.
..."find" stress and "replace" it with peace.
..."find" greed and "replace" it with contentment.
..."find" grumpiness and "replace" it with joy.
..."find" conflict and "replace" it with unity.
..."find" pride and "replace" it with humility.
..."find" unforgiveness and "replace" it with grace.

Then it hit me. We do have a "find and replace" function for life. His name is the Holy Spirit. And He delights to search our hard drive to help us become who we were meant to be, if we will submit to the sometimes painful and often tedious process of "finding" and "replacing" what is there.

"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139:23-24

"Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin."
Psalm 51:1-2

Come, Holy Spirit, and edit my life.


  1. Profound and true, Carmen, thank you! Always good to hear from you all and see what God is doing in and through you. Hugs to you all! love, Donna

  2. So happy to hear you finished, Carmen! What a relief! And what a beautiful analogy for our lives and the work that the Holy Spirit does in us. We wish you the best in your upcoming move and plans, and will continue to pray for you and your family.

  3. Great message Carmen! And, congratulations on finishing your thesis...quite an accomplishment! One, I am glad to have never accomplished!

  4. Carmen: Thank you for leaving the comments on our blog! I look forward to meeting you and your family too--it'll come quickly, I'm sure. We should definitely get together for a meal before classes begin. Do you know which part of the city you'll be living in?



  5. Thanks to all of you!

    Heather, we hope to live within walking distance of campus, but we haven't tackled that issue yet. We'll be in touch!