PORTRAIT OF CHANGE II…

illustration of change--its effects on the changer and the changee!

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about change.

  • Change is very disruptive.  Observe the photo.  Imagine how disruptive that sidewalk (that is half finished) was to the roots of the tree!  To say nothing of the pain to the tree.
  • Change is costly, but not as costly as NOT changing.
  • Change takes time and usually involves a process.  It is rarely instant.
  • Change is almost always messy.  Expect it, plan on it, embrace it…and the messy people around you.  A lack of messiness might indicate stagnation or apathy.  I didn’t think much about this until I was looking closely at the photograph.  It reminded me that the messiness that comes with change is a major part of what we don’t like about it.
  • In theory, at least, we all want order and some predictability in our personal lives.  This is true particularly in relation to our spouses, children and the people around us.  The reality of this dream is not nearly as desirable.  We need a little unpredictability, some spice in our lives.  We need some color to give some pop to the everyday beige.  In many respects, that is what happens when God brings change to our lives.  We don’t always appreciate it at the time, but eventually we do.  For those of you who have lived awhile, think of the moves you have made for a job.  Not all were exciting, some were downright difficult!  But when you look back on them, wouldn’t you say that many of the them, even if difficult, were good because of what you learned, or the deepening of a relationship that came as a result?
  • How has God used change in your life to grow you?  I love comments.

The good news:  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature… II Peter 1:3-4

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A HUG FROM GOD…

Have you ever been a bit down?  I’m not talking black-of-gloom depressed, just a bit down?  Maybe you’ve had circumstances piling up and you can’t quite see over the top of them?  That would pretty well describe us recently.  We had gotten back from our (mostly) delightful trip with children and grandchildren.  It ended on a down note physically, but we were plowing forward, maybe too stoically, as we discovered when some friends from Illinois stopped to visit.

Their visit was like a cool glass of water.  They caught us up on news from Hanna City, lots of good news.  Recently there have been many weddings and happy events.  There was also good news of growth in the lives of people in the church.  Of course, there are always sad things happening as well but the visit was delightful.  The time flew while they were here.  We found ourselves smiling for the next few days when we thought back over many topics of our conversation.

Then last week, we opened up the mail one day and received an anonymous gift!  In fact, it was before we fully realized we were going to run short because of some workdays I missed.  The person just thanked us for our ministry.  They went out of their way to disguise their identity.  I guess they take the scripture in Mathew 6:1-4 seriously.  They want to get THEIR reward from God not man!

Have you ever wanted to melt?  I did. Which do you think was the hug from God?  For us, each was in its own way.  One was an encouragement from hard-working co-workers saying “Thank you for the influence you had on our church.  We appreciate it.”  The check in the mail was also encouraging because it meant God knew about the needs that our human frailty could not provide for.  We were doing all we could to provide for our needs, but circumstances outside of our control prevented it.  He partially provided for the need before we were fully aware of it.  That is a Heavenly Father watching over His children.  How incredibly comforting and encouraging.  God has rarely provided for us with checks in the mail.  Usually we have to work for our money like everyone else.  It felt like a hug…from our loving Heavenly Father!