Summer is giving way to fall. The green is being overtaken by vibrant reds and oranges. Soon the leaves will drop, leaving the trees bare. This is a season of change.
Life is full of changes. From the seasons to stages in life. We all go through change. It is inevitable.
There are many different types of change. Some change, we welcome, we jump into with both feet. But other changes we dread. Some is gradual, like the growing and maturing of our mind and bodies, those stages of life. And some is sudden and jarring.
Change brings such a mixture of feelings: excitement, nervousness, sadness, happiness, stress, longing, regrets…
But under it all, there is usually some fear of change. Because change takes us from what is comfortable, from what we know, and drops us into uncharted territory. New emotions, situations, responsibilities. And we fear this unknown.
We surely are creatures of habit. And when we find ourselves in the midst of newness, we can be unsure of what to do, and we feel overwhelmed and stressed.
How do we navigate through the waters of change? Especially when they threaten to drown?
As we go through hard change, we need to remember that there is a change that is good for us. A change that we are called to welcome, to embrace, to strive for. This change is a transformation.
Jesus speaks of this change in Matthew 18 after His disciples ask Him, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus replies by saying, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (vv. 1-4)
In Jesus, we are transformed from prideful, independent, and self-entitled, to humble, trusting, and awe-filled. When we live in Him, with this change of heart, we are living in His Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 2:3 speaks of our being transformed into Jesus’ likeness with ever-increasing glory. In our hearts, change must take place. We must be transformed. A change in us is the evidence of Christ in us. A transformation by God’s glory so we may glorify Him by reflecting His Son.
When it comes to going through changes, being transformed, and seeing God’s glory, a woman comes to my mind: Mary, the mother of Jesus.
From being visited by an angel, to seeing her Son die, Mary went through a lot. And as we look at these two points in her life, we can learn how to walk through changes with eyes focused on the Unchanging One.
Talk about your life being turned upside down…. talk about the unexpected crashing in… talk about everything changing…
That’s what happened here. A young, unwed woman becoming the mother to God’s Son.
At this time, Mary was engaged to Joseph. By law, he would have had the right to have Mary stoned, because her pregnancy would have condemned her as unfaithful. Instead Joseph decided to quietly divorce Mary, and he would have went through with it, if the unexpected wouldn't have crashed into his dreams and called him to still take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:18-21).
Mary’s life had a set course, and with this one visit, that course could have been very different. Her life could have even ended. But even though Joseph still married her, both their lives had changed.
At the end of Mary’s conversation with the angel, she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary chose to submit to God, to His will and plan, no matter the cost. No matter how difficult, uncomfortable, unexpected, uncertain life might become.
After the angel left her, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth. While with her cousin, she declared beautiful words of praise to God for what He had done (Luke 1:39-56). Mary may have been uncertain of her future, of where this change would take her, but she was certain of her God.
Yes, we will go through many times of change in life. Times of uncertainty and unknown. But we can be certain of our God and know He is with us through it all.
That time of submission brought Mary to the foot of a cross. A cross that held her Son as He suffered a gruesome death. A death that was the punishment for sins not His own, but ours. As Jesus was providing for the eternal needs of all mankind, He also provided for Mary’s immediate need: “When Jesus saw His mother [near the cross], and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27)
God is our provider during even the hardest change. Even when change presses in and overwhelms and leaves us emptied of strength and filled with sorrow. When you can’t see and all that’s before you is black unknown, God sees you, and He will give you the light you need to navigate through the tilting and shifting of life.
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Constant through all life changes. Solid, immovable, steadfast. We can be sure, confident and certain of this. And with eyes fixed on the One who does not change, we can walk through change, and we will be changed into His likeness.
In my next email, I’m going to talk about going through change some more, giving you practical and applicable ways to focus and Jesus and handle change. So if you haven’t subscribed, now would be a great time!
The post Going Through Change first appeared on The Overflowing
All Scriptures taken from the NIV, copyright 2011
Photo from pixabay.com, edited by Jessica Faith