Change

by Rocky Fleming

 

 

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

 

Change is sometimes exciting or fearful, good or bad, needed or dreaded.  But change in our life is inevitable, for we live an existence as humans, and in a fallen world that requires change whether we like it or not.  We experience change from our birth until our death.  We start out as infants totally dependent on the care we receive from a parent or guardian, and some of us will finish life needing the care of our child or guardian at the end.  No one wants the latter.  But a change like that is often not an option.  From one point to another we face a multitude of changes, and most struggles we have with a change comes by wanting and trying to hold it back or to avoid it.  The key to living joyfully and embracing a change with hope and a positive outlook is to find our comfort in God’s grand design for our life, and how a change we may have is leading us to something good and better.

 

Why do we automatically choose to go negative when we face a change instead of seeing the adventure that lies behind it?  Is it because we have lost our zest for life, and the adventure of not knowing what lies around the next turn in the road but expecting a new thing that God is doing?  Have we lost our faith that requires risk and living radically, and have instead opted for a comfortable and safe finish to the end of our life?  If this is our perspective, we will fight and resist change and fear it until the end.  Unfortunately, we will face it anyway.  There is a better way.

 

I love the parables on stewardship.  Unfortunately, we see those passages presented through a fund-raising emphasis, and miss the most important aspect of stewardship.  The parables are not about the use of money and resources, or to raise support or donations.  They include it.  But the heart of stewardship is the use of our life.  Our life is the dearest and most important treasure that we lay at the feet of Jesus.  Our life becomes a reinvestment of our time, treasure, gifts and talents that have been deposited in us for God’s purpose.  We cannot make life comfortable for our self as our central purpose and be a good steward of our life.  It is not compatible with our purpose as citizens of another kingdom.  Then how do we embrace changes and keep our eyes on the big target?  Here’s my case:

 

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”  (1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV)

 

The greatest comfort I’ve ever had with change, be it good or bad, challenging or exciting is the fact that God is sovereign over my life, and a bigger fact that He goes with me where my change takes me.  God’s Spirit lives within me.  If I can feel His disappointment and grief for something that I have offended Him in, I can also be assured that He feels my hurt and my fear.  There is a reason that God’s Spirit is also called “Comforter.”  He comforts. He assures me that He is with me.  He also assures me that He knows my path ahead.  He asks me to trust Him, even though my path may look dismal.  Do I believe He is with me and for me?  His word tells me He that it is so with each of those questions.  But will I believe Him?  Will I simply embrace the change coming at me as something He has permitted for a plan that He has for me?  Will I find my comfort in His good heart and intentions for me?  I must do so if I want to embrace change with joy and hope … victory and a new life adventure … that proves that I am still alive with life, and living my life to His honor.

 

We live in a time that almost every aspect of our life has been affected by Covid-19, consistent negative messaging from the media and politics, disgruntled special interest groups, and terrible unemployment numbers.  Then there’s the changes in sports, entertainment, church and social gatherings.  It is so easy to say and believe that nothing good can come from all of this.  It is so easy to fall into despair, depression and give in to feelings that our life is wasted.  But that is a lie and it must be seen as such for we still have life, and God is still on His throne, and we are still His kids, if we have Jesus Christ in our life.

 

It is in times like this that we don’t spend our time brooding over what we’ve lost but instead look for what we have gained or will gain if we will follow our LEADER.  This is the time that we press closer than ever before to Him and allow Him to guide us through each step.  Each step will be in a direction that He has chosen to lead us to, and believe me, where He takes us will be where we want to land.

 

Will you trust Him?  Will you embrace the changes forced upon you, and seek to honor Him by how you embrace them?  I tell you this, when we embrace those changes with hope and trust in Him … we embrace HIM.  He will make good from bad, and the road that will rise up before us will be like ….?   Well, He said it in His word:

 

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

 

Embrace it.  Embrace Him.  He is leading the way.