This year, I have been learning about how common change is…as if I didn’t know! I have always been someone who thought I liked change. In many ways, I did and do. I like change. I’m not very fond of moving, however. I guess I like change as long as it isn’t too disruptive! Who does? Of course, Jesus didn’t come for the non-disruptive kind of change that we find in the Gospels. I have been in a study of Luke this Fall and it is clear on that for sure! It’s about the time he informed his followers of just how disruptive the changes were that He anticipated following Him would bring about in their lives. Suddenly, the delight of the miracles paled and His followers started dropping away.
Telling people they have to pick up the cross daily and follow you in a culture that knows precisely what the cross actually means and that it has nothing to do with pretty jewelry, is going to definitely cut back on your followers for sure! And that gets me to my topic today. It’s the topic of change. It often comes at times we don’t want it in what seems like small places. But it involves picking up the cross just the same.
The past few months have involved little changes that have added up.
But the past few months have seemed to be full of change in my personal life. This past June when Ron was in the hospital, we learned that one of our favorite pastors was leaving our church. We really felt sad. At the time, Ron’s health seemed to be taking a nosedive, so for purely selfish reasons, I felt very sad to hear the news.
About a month later, we learned that our youngish, well-loved doctor was leaving the practice. He doesn’t have his plans finalized yet, so we needed to find a new doctor. We had what seemed like a very nice set-up. Now it is all changed. The conveniences we had are now gone. We have found a new doctor that we hope will work out, but we don’t know for sure. A huge part of our lives is uncertain now and between November 1 and January, we will be in no man’s land medically speaking, unless our doctor finds a local practice to join.
Have changes come into your life that you didn’t see coming?
I guess it is only two areas where we have had these changes, but they affect large parts of our lives. It has taken a while to adjust. Can you identify? Have big changes been happening in your world that have taken you by surprise? Have they caused you to lose some sleep at night as you tried to figure out how you would adjust to the changes? Have you been learning to pray about the needs you now have and how God would help provide for them?
I remember the ways God provided for some of our needs in giving me the name of a doctor through my daughter and by having us be able to get an appointment too! I also remember some of the questions I had after the pastor left and how I needed to process them. One day I went to talk to one of our elders who had helped me early in the process. We had a long discussion as I talked to him about some of my concerns. It was very helpful as we talked over my questions and he seemed to understand some of the questions beneath the questions. I came away from the conversation with a lighter spirit realizing that even difficult changes that I don’t like can still be signs that God is working for good for all of us who are involved. That can be an encouraging reminder.
There is no question that many changes that come along are difficult. But God promises to give us the grace needed to live through them.
Changes are hard. There is no question. But they also shake us to make changes in our everyday lives and trust God in new places. With change comes upheaval of some degree. We can’t continue live as we have. God knows we need the upheaval in our lives to bring about needed change. No matter how strongly the change affects us, we must move with our questions toward God and sometimes toward others who can help us as we process the changes around us.
As we look at the beauty of the changes going on during this season, let’s remember how the changes God is making in us will be affecting us as we die to ourselves, take up the cross and follow Jesus on a daily basis. No, it isn’t easy. But it is good.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Colossians 1:27-28 ESV
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you,
O you of little faith!
Luke 12:27-28 ESV
Preview for the rest of 2021: For November: I’ll be sharing what some of my writing friends are doing as well as some encouraging info I have found from podcasts this past year. They may give you some ideas for Christmas either for people you love or for yourself.
For December: getting ready for Advent so that is what I’ll be writing about. Then we will be in 2022. I’m finding it difficult to believe we will be that far into this century!