God Is All About Change

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This month our pastor is preaching a series of sermons on "Resolutions that Matter". At first I thought we would talk alot about resolutions like strengthening our relationship with Lord, reading the Bible more, etc.

I was correct in my thinking, but there was a bit more. The "more" part has really made me stop and think. I have found areas that I need to pray about and seek the Lord's help and His guidance. Here, let me fill you in......

Last week we looked at change. In order to keep a resolution we need to do more than just say we are going to do it. We need to CHANGE.

I've always thought I handled change pretty well. But, as our pastor continued, I realized I only handle change well when it is a good experience for me or something that I chose to change or when it doesn't directly affect me. OUCH! I can't tell you how painful that is to admit. Almost as painful as changing in an area I don't want to change.

Let me give you just a small example. Several years ago there was a series of organizational changes that took place in my company. My department began reporting directly to our parent company. As part of this, our benefits changed to match those of the parent company, including how our vacation time was accrued. Up until this time, we started with 2 wks vacation, after 5 years we moved to 3 wks, and then at 10 yrs we received 4 wks. The new plan is the same until you get to 10 yrs. No longer do I get 4 wks vacation at 10 yrs. I now have to wait until 15 yrs. At the time all this changed, I had only been with my company 8 yrs. I remember thinking "No big deal". There were much bigger things to be upset about.

Well, this year I've now been with the company for 10 yrs and I don't get that additional week of vacation. I bet you can tell where this is going, huh? It now affects me. I don't like it. I have complained about it..... more than once. I'm not handling that bit of change well at all. Funny how my "No big deal" attitude changed once it directly affected me, huh? I've had to re-adjust and pray for an "attitude adjustment".

When I look at this example and then several others, I have been forced to admit that I don't handle change as well as I should. And, unfortunately, I had always felt this was a strength for me. Hmmmmm..... I have discovered that it is just the opposite.

And, you see, here's the crux of the matter.... God is all about change. If we're truly going to live for Him we must change. If we're truly going to love others we
must change. If we're going to be witnesses to the world around us we must change.

If we look in the book of John in the 2nd and 3rd chapters we see stories, back to back, that all deal with change. The first is the story of Jesus changing the water into wine. Second, we read of when Jesus visited the Temple for Passover and was greeted with men selling doves and oxen. Jesus spoke at the time of our bodies being "temples of the Lord" and of how we must cleanse it -- change it from being dirty. Then, the third story tells us of Nicodemus. Nicodemus asked Jesus what one must do "to be born again when he is old?" Jesus' answer is "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." In other words, we must change -- our ways of thinking, our commitments, and the way we live our lives.

So, here's the questions I must now pose to myself..... how do I learn to accept change that isn't pleasant? Change that directly affects me? How do I learn to embrace change... even the kind of change that is difficult and where I don't see the purpose?

And, finally, here's the big one..... do I daily turn myself over completely to God? Am I completely willing to accept the change that is likely to be required on that very day or somewhere down the road? A change that others may not understand? A change that could move me further outside my comfort zone than I would like?
How about you? Do you handle change well? Have you learned to accept that change is necessary and been able to move forward? Are you willing to change in any way that God may ask?

12 Thoughts Shared:

Lori said...

These are some powerful thoughts. I to can change or do something differently if I WANT it to change. But for example I wanted a new house, I wanted that change but the Lord has said no. So with that lack of change I pouted and cried.

You are right God is all about change, constantly teaching and moving us forward.

Thanks for this post this morning.

Kristi said...

Melanie, I think you were able to write what my heart has been wrestling with but unable to utter. Change is hard. My heart and mind are struggling with the changes in our "normal" life. It is starting to settle in that we may have to deal with Rachel's diagnosis for the rest of her life. This isn't what I had planned for her life. But, His ways are higher than mine and He loves her even more than I do. Thanks for your honesty today.

Samantha said...

Melanie, thank you for visiting my blog-believe me I've been pondering on it for a long time!I don't think I'll ever outgrow meditating on it:)
It seems in my life, all God does is bring change- you're very right to say that once it hits it's amazing how our attitude finally catches up! I think yes, there is that constant taking our thoughts captive, but there is also a grace because we truly don't know exactly how we will feel or how the events will actually take place on the given day of the "change". We can make all the plans and preparations and logically create a mental here's how I'll deal with it check-off list, but what other events (moving, babies, sickness, job loss etc)or areas (change, idols, trust etc..)God might be working out in us are going on at that same time that we didn't "plan" on. I'm always looking in and up-many days fumbling through my finite mind to grasp His infinite plan. Ultimately, God will complete in you and I what He has begun and hopefully while were making the changes-we show His glory to others-whether by how we handle it or the brother or sister in Christ that walks alongside of you! Walking with you! Amanda:)

Sweet Blessings said...

Melanie- apparently I was signed in under my daughter's account-the last post was from me-Amanda:)Blessings!

Tricia said...

Hey Melanie
I have never really thought that much about change, but you are definitely right, the changes we want to make are so much easier to make than those that we do not want make. And the more I think about it, the changes I want to make are really no problem, but the changes others want me to make, now that is where I struggle... next time God prods me for some change I am going to have to do a quick attitude check!

Blessings!

Deb Burton said...

I have said to the Lord, "Use me however you will", but alas, while my intellect is willing, my spirit often caves when it comes right down to it. I like things just the way they are most of the time. Consistency! Predictability! But no growth. And if no growth, then I can't really be used by God in a way that glorifies Him.

It's a constant struggle for me to allow myself to step outside of the box. However, when I trust the Lord when I'm doing it, the blessing is unbelievable. I have any number of those blessings under my belt. that being the case, why is it still a struggle for me to accept the change God wants in me?

{sigh} I'm glad God puts up with me the way that He does.

bp said...

Thanks for your openness, this is a difficult thing for me. I think I'm like you that change is hard when it is something challenging for me or something I don't like.

Laurie Ann said...

Some very powerful thoughts here, Melanie, and thought provoking ones, too. I have a bit of self-examination to do on how I embrace change, it seems. Great food for thought!

Beth E. said...

"Ouch" indeed! I never really thought that much about change, but I'm the same way as you described yourself. I'm okay with it, as long as it doesn't affect me directly! Thank you for your post, and for helping me realize I need to make some CHANGES. :o)

Tiffany Stuart said...

So much to ponder and pray about. Change. I think I like change too, but the way you put it makes me wonder how I handle change. ?? I'll be thinking about this one.

Great post!!

Debra said...

Melanie,

I know I don't like change...however, I the more I press in to the Lord the more I know He changes us to be more of what He wants us to be so we have to get more and more comfortable with change.

Great post, my friend.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I don't like change either. I'm much too comfortable in my cozy situation...and yet I know God calls us to step out of cozy and into crazy so we can follow Him. I want to be willing to do that even if it is difficult at times.