Monday, July 29, 2013
A rather popular passage of Scripture (of course also made famous by the good ol' Beatles) tells of change:
" There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build up,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace." -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I have to be honest, Ecclesiastes in not one of my favorite reads of the Bible. I have read through it a couple of times, and I find it depressing...wise, but not very upbeat...which, I know is intentional in God's authorship of the Bible. This passage is also not on my top 100 or even 1,000 favorites. Probably because it deals with change, and I am not very good with change. I'm struggling to think of many people who are. Change, good or bad, is hard. We are creatures of habit, we get stuck in grooves, we are complacent, we are stubborn, we think we know best, and we just want to keep the familiar. For many of us, definitely for me, change is a profane word.
As I reread this Scripture, I am convicted of the reality of how human and messed up I am, but how divine and sovereign God is. I am a list maker. If I look at these verses as a list, I can reflect upon my life and identify where these changes are happening. And, and it comforts me greatly to know that change is a centuries old, universal problem...but that God sees it all and already knows the outcome.
I could easily go verse by verse and point how that "time for" whatever change is happening in my life...and, I probably will do that, but I won't bore you with all of them. (I also challenge you to look at your life and identify where change is happening, and step back and see how God is working through that change).
A few of these "times" pop out of the Bible at me..."a time to plant and a time to uproot". I feel that my kids and I have been completely uprooted. Our old version of normal: me staying at home, home school, big house, big yard, etc. was all pulled out from under us. We were picked up and pulled out. However, we are being replanted. We have an amazing new home that we love and where we all feel safe and comfortable. We were uprooted, but I can feel God using His green thumb to plant us in our new environment and to help us grow and thrive. That's a big change, and a lot of change. It scares me to pieces, but it is very exciting to see how He has already provided for us!
"A time to mourn and a time to dance"...my kiddos and I have had to go through the grief process, of sorts, concerning what we have lost. And while there are still scary moments and bad days, it feels like we are approaching the time to bust a move! My kids and I have (with great struggle) followed God's Word and guidance through our changes. According to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11, He has great plans for us! He has already used us, and I pray He keeps using us to bring people closer to Him. Knowing people can be brought to Jesus through our battles absolutely makes me want to dance. Everything we face can bring Him glory. Whoop whoop! (Insert image of me busting out the "cabbage patch", "raise the roof", and a little crumping). I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us that is going to make me dance like a Rockette!
I literally could go on and on in this passage and pinpoint each "time" in my life right now. All I know is change is hard, and I don't like it...good or bad. Even good change scares me. I feel vulnerable, exposed, and timid. BUT, "the Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1. AND, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear (timidity), but a spirt of power, of love, and of a sound mind" 2 Timothy 1:7! So, my challenge to you and to myself is to take on these seasons of change, these times of stretching, growing, and renewing with BOLDNESS!!! Do not let your doubts and fears ensnare you. Do not let your human mind overtake God's sovereignty. Do not allow yourself to get caught in the trap of complacency. Instead, know that if you are crying, dancing is around the corner. If you are being uprooted, He's going to plant you somewhere else. Whatever change you are facing, be confident that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." Philippians 1:6. Now, He doesn't promise that everything will be resolved and perfect on this side of heaven. But, be faithful and consistent, and if you aren't dancing while you're down here on Earth, get ready to do the Electric Slide in Heaven!