The trees are stretching their branches one last time before autumn’s breeze turns their leaves to shades of gold and carries them away. Sprinklers and Tiki torches are soon to be retired and replaced by rakes and mountainous piles of leaves climbed by little feet. The excitement and anticipation of change is in the air!
Change, it can not come fast enough for some. For others, it is terrifying. How do you react to change? Do you seek it or run from it? Most of us would admit that we all have areas in our life that we know need to change, but we simply do not know how to pursue it.
The daily demands made upon mothers are enough to exhaust our minds and bodies, so how can we make room for change? We look at and admire people who have found the grace and strength to make the necessary changes to accomplish their God planted purposes, goals, and dreams. We hear the whisper of our own hearts as the Holy Spirit quickens us.
For some, it could be a simple as learning how to spend more quality time with their children. For others, it might be getting their house organized. Whether the goal be physical, like running a 5K or losing 15 pounds, or spiritual, like practicing the presence of God or developing a consistent prayer life. Each goal and each purpose is precious in God’s sight.
The two common threads in people that accomplish great things through change in this world are as follows:
1. They never give up or stop dreaming and imagining. Isn’t is interesting that Jesus said you must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Little children are always dreaming and imaging that they will do great things in their life.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
2. They firmly believe they will succeed.
If the Lord indeed planted these dreams in your heart, then you can rest assured; He is faithful and true to lead you into successful change and victory.
For as a man thinks within himself, so he is. (Proverbs 23:7a)
For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10:11 NASB)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Be encouraged! Don’t give up! Hold on to your dreams during the seasons of change. Understand, just as the glory of the Lord is present when summer turns to autumn, He has you in His loving embrace as you seek change for His glory.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
This morning, I opened my eyes to see that sometime in the night, a little visitor crawled in bed with me. Not feeling well, nothing comforts a child more than the presence of his mother. I look, the chubby, baby-like cheeks have long disappeared. He resembles his father more each day. My heart…. holding on to the days of his childhood, which pass by too quickly for me. Change can be beautiful and bitter sweet.
Change is ever present in the seasons too. This has been the most beautiful fall I can remember in my 30 years of living in Oklahoma. The change has been gradual. The blistering heat of summer, so unbearable, made it seem that it would never end, but it did. This week, I found myself picking the last of the fruit and vegetables in my garden. We also pulled all the remaining plants and prepared the ground for winter’s rest. Autumn’s beauty will fade into winter and segue into another kind of beauty.
As the seasons change, so does the decor in my home. I find pleasure in decorating. Candles in particular bring me so much joy. The warmth and beauty they add to my home create a simple pleasure. As the days grow colder, more time is spent inside and I want our home to be a warm, loving, and an inviting place for my family and friends to gather. This kind of change is like the Father’s love that draws us closer to Him.
Changes can be uncomfortable, even frightening because they take us out of our comfort zone into uncharted territory. Changes can also be a delight, a welcomed guest, because they bring with them the manifestation of answered prayers. Let your life prove your change of heart. Hope gives way to pure and undefiled faith. Our Father is faithful to His promises. Remember, with David, in one night, when all appeared lost and the promise of kingship seemed forgotten, this is when he became King of Israel. Hold fast and be certain that God’s Word will never return to Him void.
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP)
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2 AMP)
How many changes would you like to make in your life? I can think of a few for myself. Okay, I admit, I can think of a lot! I would like to start with better eating habits, perhaps being a little slower to anger, but I COUlD definitely benefit from getting a little more organized.
I am a work in progress, to put it mildly. The strange thing is, however, the harder I try, the more I fall. Well, at least I am in good company. Paul said, For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. (Romans 7:19 AMP)
In looking at my many weaknesses, I decided it is time to change. My heart’s desire is to please the Lord and walk in His Blessings. So, I come up with a plan. Tomorrow, I am going to change. Tomorrow comes and I do REAL well…. until…… it’s time to get out of bed! Can you sympathize with me?
Not so long ago, I prayed a dangerous prayer. I asked the Lord to make me meek. Meekness is not only humility; it is utter dependence upon the Lord. Moses, the meekest man in the world, wouldn’t even take one step unless he knew the Lord was before him, beside him, above him, beneath him, behind him.
After I prayed this prayer for meekness, immediately, I couldn’t do even the simplest of tasks. It was as if the Lord took away all the natural strength I had. It was as if He was showing me all the areas of my life I was self-dependent. Sometimes our greatest strengths and natural talents can be a hinderance to walking in humility. We may not even realize we are self-dependent. I had no choice but to set out on a journey, of which I have not competed yet, to relearn how to do everything in His strength.
If you have failed as many times as I have, you begin to get desperate. God’s kingdom is the backwards, inside, outside, upside down Kingdom. You have to die to live and lose to win. Misty Edwards sings that song:) I realized that to become strong, I must become weak.
This is the key to change. I imagine myself standing before the light of His Glory, knowing my weaknesses are going to be exposed. However, if I can persevere in the Light of His Glory, I will be transformed.
Jesus said, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:20, 21 ESV)
My work is to trust in Jesus, so I need not be ashamed when I come to His Light. I can rest assured that as I immerse myself in the Word and delight in His presence, change will come!