Humans give God a bad Rep!

So often I hear or read comments from those outside of the church who say they shy away from the Christian faith because of the hypocrisy and sin they have seen or heard about throughout their lives in the church. “My brothers wife’s aunts daughter’s pastor had an affair/embezzled/was an addict/etc.”

Maybe it’s closer to home for you than that. Maybe it was your pastor, spouse, or an entire body of believers that burned you and scared you away. Whatever or whoever it was, I want to make myself very clear…

I do not follow And love Jesus because my pastor (or any other human) is perfect.

If anything, my pastor showed me I was lovable in my brokenness and sin.  He showed me that you don’t have to be perfect to serve Jesus.  I didn’t have to wait until I got my life together to come to church!  In fact, that whole line of thinking is backwards!

No, I follow Jesus and serve God because HE is perfect, and just, and forgiving, and loving. Because I am so broken and screwed up that without him I am an even bigger mess.

I know there are issues in the church.  I know this because there is not one believer that can claim perfection.  The Church is made up of imperfect and sinful people.  Newsflash: There is brokenness in the world also. The difference is that in the world there is no grace. No mercy. No hope.

Please. Don’t let imperfect and flawed people keep you away from the love of a perfect, forgiving, loving, awesome God. Don’t let this screwy world keep you from perfect grace and mercy. We don’t worship and follow people. We worship and walk with God. The same God who makes oceans from the rain, and spoke the mountains into existence. The same God who is responsible for the sun setting and rising every day, is the same God who loves us and forgives us. Over and over again. You can have a relationship with Him. No matter what you have done, no matter what anyone else has done, He loves us.

Being Mama

Growing up I never pictured myself as a mother. While other girls played house and barbies, I played dinosaurs, Power Rangers, and TMNT.  I didn’t have a group of girls that just sat and giggled with, but boys and male cousins to rough house. I didn’t dream of a white knight and babies, I dreamt of a career, and traveling. I longed to see the exotic landscape in a tropical paradise, walk the great wall of china, mountain climb, and make great discoveries. I longed for adventure. My parents always encouraged this whenever they could.  My dad taught me to drive on a big Ford tractor, and I didn’t get in too much trouble when I took it for a spin unattended through corn fields. My home was full of crafts and creativity, forts and board games, stories and songs, Backyard bonfires and campouts. My mom always encouraged me to be whatever and whoever I wanted. My parents said anything was possible if I worked hard enough.

As I grew, my adventurous side grew also. It evolved and changed, I graduated high school and went to college. I had dated and experienced the incredible strength of fierce emotions, but I never imagined myself actually settling down and committing. I had so many dreams. Being a mommy was never one of them.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My adventurous side turned into a need to party, and so when I woke up sick several days in a row I didn’t worry. Days to weeks, until I ended up vomiting in my car on the way to the store. And just like that. I knew. I don’t mean I wondered or worried. I just knew. I turned into the drug store and bought a first response test.  And of course it was positive. From that moment things moved so quickly.  It’s a blur of moments with the exception of the slow motion video of me telling my own mama. I didn’t even have to tell her. I remember it all. What we were wearing, her face, where we sat, what she said. But mostly, I remember her loving me.  It just poured out of her, in strong waves that both comforted me, and terrified me. I was terrified because I was 21. There was no way I was ready to love someone that way. I couldn’t even love myself. You want to talk about fear, that was it.

But there I was. Pregnant. With a baby.

I’d like to say things went smoothly and fell into place. That the mothering gene kicked in and I rocked it. That it was like one of those convenience shakes. Add water, and shake well and Boom! Chocolate shake! Or in my case, insta- mom.

It was not that easy. It still isnt. It’s easy to talk about pushing through.  Not as easy to actually do it. But somewhere along the way, sometime between feeling my son kicking me and moving inside me and the time he was (finally) born, I fell madly in love. It was still hard, love always is. He was colicky and fussy, I had to figure out how to take care of his needs, and do so without sleep, I had to face the fact that this littler human depended on me for every single thing. For happiness and health,  for food and clean clothes, for a home and an education. It’s a big responsibility for anyone, especially a 21 year old girl who was already lost.

I found myself while loving him. I never expected to react to puking by trying to catch it in my cupped hands, or to not be grossed out by boogers and poop. I never imagined myself spending hours on a puzzle, or that my greatest adventure would lie in another person.  I get so much joy from this child. Joy and frustration, laughter and tears. I have shouted and yelled, and cuddled and kissed all in a matter of moments. When he goes crashing to the cement off his bike I flinch inside and outside I encourage him to try again. 

He is 7 now. With big dreams and a huge imagination. He loves to read, and sing, and dance. He is tender and loving. He always wants to know all the rules to things before he does anything,  and he will catch you if you try to cheat at Uno.  Time is going so fast. Sometimes when  I am wanting ME time and he wants to sit on my lap and cuddle or read, or when he is supposed to be sleeping and asks for one more hug and kiss…5 times, when he asks me to play games or build legos, when he says, “mama will you play with me?” And I really want to sit on the couch and read I remember that one day he will be too “cool” to kiss and hug and and cuddle mama. He will not want me he will want friends. One day he will be grown, and I won’t get to lay next to him while he sleeps and hold him.

So we ride bikes for hours on end, we build legos, put together puzzles, play board games, and countless games of Uno. I give him one more hug and kiss 5 times, and I let him sit on my lap whenever he wants. It may not be exactly like exploring a foreign land or climbing a mountain, but I think it’s better.

No, I never saw myself as a mother. But being my boy’s Mama is the greatest adventure I will ever have. And I don’t want to miss a single moment.

I’m not who I was.

Today is Sunday, my most favorite day of the week, every week. While it’s true that there is beauty in every day, I always look forward to this day. It is a day I hope I never take for granted.

It’s almost Easter,  and this particular holiday is one that is very near and dear to me. The day of the Resurrection is the day Jesus defeated death. It is also the day that Jesus saved me from myself. 4 years ago I was ready to give up on life, because the life I was leading wasn’t a life at all, but was a sentence. I remember doing things I didn’t want to do, being unable to control my actions,  I was a thief, a liar, a cheat, a manipulator. I didn’t care about anyone, especially myself. All I cared about was the next fix, and I literally hated myself for it. I remember looking in the mirror and screaming at myself, berating myself, shouting at the stranger I had become for ruining not only my life, but my innocent sons life. After that I refused to look in a mirror. I couldn’t stand to look myself in the eyes any longer and to face the person I had become. I Was An Empty Shell Of A Human.   A wasted life. I remember laying in bed one night unable to sleep praying that God would take me out of this world. I didn’t have it in me to be the mother, daughter, sister, or friend that I knew my family deserved, and I was void of any kind of strength that would get me there. I prayed, “God, if your listening. Please take me out of here. My son deserves more, my mom deserves better, my sister needs more, my dad won’t even look at me. If I can’t be the woman that they deserve, I don’t want to be here at all. I’m tired.” I finally fell asleep whispering the words, “please God. Please God, get me out  of here.” Over and over again, but in my heart of hearts I never thought he would hear me. Why would He listen to a broken, strung out junkie like me?

But He Did.

I don’t have words to tell you exactly what He did or how he did it. Meeting Jesus changes you in ways that are not tangible to us. I can tell you that the next day was Easter and while I was trying to set up my next fix, two girls showed up at my door. My life was never the same.

While they stood there screaming and yelling at me I was working hard to keep my walls up and my heart stony and cold. And all of a sudden I literally felt something in me break. I opened my door and asked them to come in. I was too tired to fight any longer and too disgusted with myself to care what happened. My sister took my son, because I told her I couldn’t take care of Him. She dropped everything and came and got him, and she loved him in ways I didn’t know how. I was broken in so many ways, in ways I didn’t and couldn’t understand. I had no dreams or goals back then. I fully expected myself to die before I was 28, as just another addict. Some days I prayed for death, thinking that was the only way out.

That was four years ago, and it seems like a lifetime. I’ve been stuck in these memories for a few days. Mostly because I don’t see myself as the same person I was. I never thought I would be able to hold a job and support myself and my son, much less a job I loved. I never would have believed I would fall madly in love with Jesus. I don’t know that I even believed he was more than a story in an old book.  At least not until He changed me.

Today I helped greet at church, I have been helping collect supplies for care packs for the homeless,  I stood with my family in Christ and received prayer, and I prayed for comfort for another. In a couple hours my son will help me with dinner, and we will read a bedtime story and he will hug and kiss me and tell me I’m the best mama in the world. Tomorrow I will go to a job I love and I will help and encourage others with addictions and brokenness. I will call my sister after work and we will talk and laugh like best friends, because we are. And I will come home to my husband, a man I am madly in love with, we will eat dinner and I will help my son with his homework before we get ready for bed and read a story. He will ask for just one more hug and kiss, 3 times. It’s a good life.

I don’t deserve this life. It far exceeds my wildest hopes.  I don’t take any of the credit. For years I tried to be a better me, and only ended up sliding deeper into the pit. Jesus came down in the pit and lifted me out. He saw me as more than a broken and empty shell. He saved me. He gave me this beautiful life and through Him I am helping others who are equally as broken and bruised.  It literally amazes me. I still have bad days, after all I’m human. But my worst day today is leaps and bounds better than my best day 4 years ago. 

Easter is the day of the resurrection.  It’s the day Jesus beat death at its own game, and it is the day He saved me from myself.
“With God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

5 Things I Don’t Get Serving Jesus – and Why I’m Happier without them.

Our society today has such a twisted view of Jesus, and a lot of it is because of how twisted todays christians are – we are drowning in a “Me First” mindset.  Everyone is looking out for themselves… for what they can get. Our society has adopted a “whats in it for me” mindset that says: “if I join this church what will they do for me?” “if I give up my bad habits and sinning, what am I going to get?” “if I tithe, God will give me more back right?” “if I follow the rules and do good, whats in it for me?”   Along with twisting scripture and grace to suit sinful desires, “God wants me happy, he wouldn’t want me to stay with my wife, I am miserable!” “Sure I cheated and stole, but I just have to ask for forgiveness and its ok.”  And dont get me started on all of the “She cant possibly be a christian because she cussed on facebook/had an affair/is divorced/is on drugs…” or more recently one I am seeing is the whole “a real Christian wouldn’t watch 50 shades of Grey. You must be ashamed!” I feel incredibly frustrated sometimes looking at Facebook or other social media and reading all the hypocrisy and judgments from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I myself have been guilty of the same… pointing my judgmental finger at others when I should be asking God to help me love on others, and to change my stony and mean heart. Oftentimes I believe we start out with good intentions, only to lose our way trying to accomplish OUR goals and prove OUR point.

The truth is, we can’t fight fire with fire, or hate with hate. We can’t bully and browbeat people into following and loving Jesus. We can, however, walk in love and show them what loving and following Jesus looks like. We can show by our actions how good Jesus is. He is not a car we have to sell to people to meet our quota in order to get into heaven and earn salvation. God does not need a defender, He spoke the world into existence!

As disciples we need to realize it is not about us, and we need get off our high horses and get down in the pit, like Jesus did, and take care of each other. We can stop pretending to not be broken,  when in some way we are ALL broken. We need to go where we are called, and and walk the path He has laid for us. Not because we want to get things or we think that by doing so our life will magically become easy and we will never experiance hard times or feel saddness, but because we are madly in love with Jesus. No where in the Bible does Jesus promise us that we will have plenty of money, an easy life, or
total happiness when we follow Him. No where. In fact, quite the opposite. He plainly states that by following Him we will come against opposition and persecution. We WILL have hard times… really really hard times. He is not a genie here to grant our wishes. He is the God of the Universe, and we should be serving HIM. Not expecting Him to serve us.

Here are 5 things I do not get from being madly in love with Jesus, and why I believe I am better off this way.

1. Total happiness: 
  Happiness is an emotion and is fleeting. Oftentimes what makes us happy in the moment ends up hurting us later. Following our heart can be so detrimental to the point it causes serious damage. Sure it may feel good to numb out, shop away a paycheck, sleep with that guy because he “loves me”, “or spend an evening drinking to excess with friends, but how many of us, myself included,  have woke up the next day miserable, broke, hungover,  full of regret and misery?  I’m willing to bet everyone I know has experienced this in one form or another. Just because it feels good in the moment does not mean it is good. Jesus never ever ever said He wants us to be happy. If someone tries to tell you that, they are lying. But here is the good news… you CAN have a spirit of joy. Even during hard times. Joy is different. You can stop trying so hard to fill that void and be happy, and fall in love with Jesus and experience JOY. Even in the midst of a storm. We will learn that joy, unlike happiness does not depend on our circumstances (Psalm 27:5-7) and that, dear friends, is better than fleeting happiness any day.

2. Total control.
  So many of us struggle with control, for myself this has been a personal struggle for me for a long time. My search for control over every aspect of my life has generally left me feeling defeated, because so few things are actually in my control. Don’t get confused here, we all have free will. But when trying to make everything go exactly the way I think it should, I usually wind up further back than I was when I started. That’s something I love about Jesus. He will never give us something or send us somewhere that will leave us feeling broken, shamed, or full of regret. As cynical humans we fear letting someone else have control. Maybe we have learned the hard way to not let others control us for fear they will just hurt us. And of course we should NOT let another broken and imperfect human control us and our lives. That would cause so much devastation.  But see Jesus is all good, all loving,  and all powerful. I have seen how my life is when I struggle for the controls all the time, and I’m so thankful I handed them over to Jesus. I will go where He asks me to go. I will do what He asks me to do. First because I know that He is madly in love with me, and second because He is my savior. And He knows what’s best. This doesn’t mean it is always easy. Sometimes He asks me to do really hard things. But the best things in life are rarely easy. Jesus has a plan for my life (and yours! ) a plan that will far exceed my own, a plan that is good and hopeful. (Jeremiah 29:11) If I don’t follow His lead I will never see his plan blossom.

3. Personal glory.
  I no longer do things for the Glory I get and I no longer take glory for things that God has done for me. Falling in love with Jesus changed my life. Not just slight changes, but extreme changes. Slowly I started to heal, I started to see things differently and do things differently. It wasnt just my circumstances that changed. My heart changed. I had tried for many years to stop using drugs, to hold a job, to live “right” and failed miserably each and every time, to the point where I was broken beyond any human repair. I had lost everything, and could no longer pretend to be ok. So I cried out to Jesus, not really understanding what I was seeking, not knowing anything about Jesus. But at that point I didn’t need to know Him. He knew me. He loved me. In just a few short years I have a job I love, my son is healthy and thriving, I have close friendships, a renewed bond with my parents and sister, and a husband that I am madly in love with.  But here is the thing. I did not do any of that. When I was trying to control my life I ended up making one bad decision after another. It was not until I quit struggling, admitted I was a broken mess, and gave my heart to Christ that things started changing. God did that for me, and He did it so that through my life, my heart, and my testimony people would come to meet and fall in love with Him. It’s not about me. And it’s not about you. It’s about God’s glory. God equips us with strengths and gifts, not so we can say, “Hey look what I did!” But so we can glorify Him with what He has done for us. (1 Peter 4:11)

4. Pride

Pride is a dangerous thing. It is defined as “Deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from ones own achievements, a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity,  importance,  superiority.” Another definition reads, “A lofty and arrogant assumption of one’s own appearance,  advantages,  achievements,  etc.”
Proverbs 11:2 says “When pride comes, then comes disgrace.”  It’s not about US! It ceases to be about us when we give up our hearts and fall in love with Jesus. And I have to say that I am very grateful. Jesus won’t fail. He Can’t Fail. Unlike myself, I fail all the time. We have to understand that we are not better than anyone else, no matter how good looking we are, how much money we have, or how many letters are behind our name. We all come into this world the same way and we all leave the same way; and nothing you possess is going with you. We cant buy our way in to heaven, and no amount of education or good deeds will earn us salvation. This is not to say there is nothing wrong with being educated. The issue is when we become vain and conceited about it, raising ourselves above others, acting and feeling more important than others. Jesus asks us to be humble. To not act on rivalry or pride, but to care and value other people above ourselves. (Phil 2:3) As God’s people we are not called to lift ourselves up and be conceited. We are called to be wise and understanding,  and to prove it by the way we treat each other and the things we do. (James 3:13).

5. A problem free life.
So many times I have heard people complain and say that there must not be a God, and if there is and He is indeed a Good God than why does He allow all the tragedies in this world.  As followers, we have no problem praising God when life is good and things are smooth,  but when things go wrong and we are faced with problems we begin to question, to worry, to panic and to cry out, to feel forsaken. We wonder if He has forgotten us and we doubt His love for us.   Too easily we forget that God never promises us a problem free life, and in fact quite the opposite. Jesus told his disciples that they would face oppression and persecution for following Him. Throughout the entire Bible there are scriptures that talk about troubles and hard times coming our way. But it doesn’t stop there. Through scripture God shows us how to navigate the storms and promises that if we look for Him we will find Him. Who should we be afraid of, when the God of the universe is beside us?
Romans 5:3-5 says “we glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the holy spirit.” And Psalm 27:1-3 says, “the Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear?” And 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,  but what is unseen is eternal.”

There are so many scriptures to encourage us and give us hope when things are hard. To remind us that God has not abandoned us, we simply need to lean into him, read His word, and pray unceasingly.   Everyone has problems, but with Jesus, we are offered peace and hope. No matter what the circumstance may be. The things of this world are temporary and fleeting. Our circumstances will pass, after each valley is a mountain. We have a decision to make. Who are we going to live for? Who are we going to trust, not only when things are awesome, but also when things are falling apart? And through it all, who are we going to serve?

New Year’s Blues

It’s been a challenging week in my world. Caring for a sick child, being off work and out of routine, worry for loved ones who are ill, and the general stress of life have taken it’s toll and left me an emotional, weepy, and cantankerous individual.  Instead of drawing closer to Jesus, going to Him with my worries and needs and letting Him give me peace, I had an internal hissy fit and pulled away from Him. It wasn’t a conscious drift, but rather a slow,  frustrating slide away from Him. I made excuses not to read the bible, or spend time in prayer, excuses like “I’m too tired, busy, or annoyed” got in the way every time.

I literally heard myself sounding like a spoiled child with a big sense of entitlement, instead of the humble servant I want to be. The further away I drifted, the worse it got, and the more miserable I became.

Granted the past week was not a walk in the park, but neither was it a huge tragic event. Every night my husband came home, let me whine about the day, and express my worry for Aiden. Every day my mom and sister called and text to check in on Aiden and love on me, and other friends and family loved on us through social media. My employer gave me the time to be with my son and care for him, so I didn’t have to worry about work. And even though Aiden had the flu and we had to deal with all the misery that it comes with, not a day went by that he didn’t tell me how much he loves me.

I let my worry get the best of me, I got stuck in my circumstances and in my exhaustion to the the point where I missed all the goodness that surrounds me every day.

This morning during worship at church I felt as if there was a wall between my heart and my head. Tears were pouring,  but I didn’t feel anything. I felt empty. I tried to feel the ache for God that I am used to feeling during worship. I pushed inside trying to feel the love and the peace that always meets me there. But I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t get past myself and my “poor me” mindset. For the first time in a very long time I didn’t meet Jesus during that half hour.  He was there… but I wasnt.

In fact I was so absent I missed most of the message, I took notes, but even now I couldnt tell you what I wrote down .  In my frustration and anger I silently cried out to God, “you know my heart and my needs. I trust you to meet them. I can’t find that yearning for You in me. The longing for more of You that has been with me for so long now, It’s gone. Please give me that. Bring that back to me.”

You see, I had started to take my relationship with Jesus for granted. Without meaning to, I started to pull away. To try to take the controls back. It has been so long since I tried to do things on my own , I forgot how hard and miserable it can be.  I forgot how difficult life is when I try to control and fix every single thing. I became resentful of those I love most because they didn’t see things my way, and instead of focusing on Jesus, I focused on me.

I can’t say what clicked for me since church 3 hours ago… I can’t tell you that sparks flew and the world shifted and magically my eyes were opened. But I can say that it was like a little, “tap, tap, tap” in my heart. A scripture stuck in my head, a love rising my chest. A gentle nudge that said, “I love you.  I got this. ”  Like a daddy’s embrace after a hard day at school, I was wrapped in comfort, and all the worry, stress, and headache of the past week just rolled away. 

This is the God I serve. A God who is loving, and patient, and kind. Who is ready to greet us with open arms and fierce love. All we have to do is ask.

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Stop Listening to Your Heart!

 

 

crushed

We all experience difficult times, times of desperation and trouble, of heartache and difficult choices. Just as we all have a tendency to second guess ourselves, seek out the wisdom of our families and friends, read magazines, or as we all have probably done, we google it.  We are torn between something we know to be true, and the way we feel.  The tugging at our heart strings, the urges and yearnings of our minds, the dreams we have had since childhood can often lead us down paths of destruction.  Our wants and desires and needs can be overwhelming, urging us to race forward.

 

Sadly, when we do this, when we listen to the world and to those around us (however well their intentions may be) we forget to go to the one place where we could find the right advice, the good choice to make, the right answer, the answer that is in our best interest. We forget to go to our Father.

The world says, “listen to your heart, it knows what to do.”

God says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)

When the world and our hearts and feelings are so insistently urging us towards something, the last thing we want to hear is “No, turn around. Go back.  I have something else planned for you. Be patient. Wait.”   Like spoiled children, we want what we want and we want it now!  We fail to see the bigger picture, we fail to realize that God has something bigger in store for us.   It’s hard to wait, I know this.  It is even harder to wait if it means walking away from something you really want.  Getting caught up in our emotions can make us impatient.  It can make us forget that God is not putting up roadblocks to punish us.  But rather, He is trying to hold us off, to take the time to mold us and change us into who He wants us to be.  So that when the timing is right in HIS plan, we are who we need to be to be able to fulfill our calling.

Proverbs 15:22 says “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”    Take the time out to pray about your choices and decisions.  Are you making a choice based on your emotions and what you want? Are you forcing things to happen because they are not just falling into place like you thought?  Are you pushing back your sadness and disappointment that this is not how you imagined it would be, making excuses to yourself?   Are you desperately trying to ignore the nagging in the center of who you are, or are you trying to stifle the real you to accommodate someone else? If you have to drown and stifle the real you to make room for something or someone else in your life, than that thing is not what our Father, who loves us beyond our understanding, has for you.

 

Romans 8:28 says “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”   God gives us our dreams and callings.  He directs our steps and guides us, gently leading us. Furthermore, when we are serious about serving God, about living a life devoted to serving Him, and by extension serving others, He will pinpoint things in your life that either are or have the potential to come between  your relationship with Him, things that may be destructive.  God is jealous for our affections, He wants to be first in our lives, and He will not stand to be anything else. He is not a second-place God. He does not lose. Period.   We all have our own expectations and idea’s of what will make us happy, but that’s just it.  They are our ideas.  Our ideas may not be what God has for us.  So He convicts us. That’s where the worry, anxiety, anguish, doubt, and second guessing come in.  That that is where our mind becomes a whirlwind and our thoughts race, and we try to push it down, suffocate those feelings, and “follow our heart” when really, instead of rushing forward, we should patiently wait. We should pray for confirmation, we should ask God to remove the things from our life that are distracting us from Him, coming between us.  We need to let go. Letting go can be a scary thing.  It means we are entering into a place we don’t know, we are giving up controls and rather than doing what is comfortable, we are doing what makes us uncomfortable, and possibly painful.  But if we are to trust in God, rather than ourselves, it’s also necessary. God won’t force us into anything.  He will stir inside of us, quietly and gently commanding us to let go of our past wounds, to let go of our expectations, and let him have the controls.  Trust him.  Allow him to be first in our hearts, in our minds, and in our lives.  Delight ourselves in Him.  Let go of the things he is asking us to let go of,  even if we don’t understand why. We can take comfort in knowing that our Father has something bigger and better in store for us.

Weathering Change

No matter how we try or what we do, change is a part of our every day lives.  The season’s change, the weather changes, the leaves on the tree’s change.  We age, we grow up, we have children who proceed to age and grow up.  Our looks change, our voice can change, our lives can change, in a single moment.  We as humans are slaves to change. We inhabit a constantly changing world, and whether we like it or not doesn’t really matter, because we are helpless to stop it.  

 

So why is change so hard for so many of us?  As an inevitable part of life, you would think that being intelligent humans we would accept and deal as best as we can.  But instead, so many of us fight back against the unseen force, and try to ignore or hold off the changes as much as possible for as long as possible.  By doing this we not only miss out on a lot, but were left behind.  Even when it’s a change we have been praying for and asking for, it’s still difficult. Sometimes so difficult that our anxieties and fears overwhelm us to a point that we have convinced ourselves that we don’t really want it after all, and would much rather keep things the way the are …. knowing full well that’s not true either.  And many people who so firmly avoid change end up drifting along, joyless and empty, with no real purpose to their days.

So what does Jesus say about change? Why is change so hard for so many people?  What is the best way to handle our ever changing world?

Every time in my life that a change was coming, even the changes I had asked for, I felt intimated by the fact that I didn’t know what would happen, what was coming to me.   I knew changes needed to be made, and that to really grow in my relationship with Christ I needed to move, not stand still, but the fear of not being able to predict every single step would root me into place.   When things change we have to realize that we can’t manipulate every moment, we can’t be in control of every little thing. We have to step out side of our comfort zone, branch out.  Perhaps its a move or a new job, things that may be necessary, but can be very life altering.  It means we have to meet new people, take new risks, learn something new. It means we have to give up the controls and just totally trust that God is in control.  When we let God take control it can be seriously awesome… but seriously scary to actually let go and have faith.   When we give up control we quickly realize how vulnerable we are, and in fact how powerless.  Our ego can take a harsh beating, and the courage and strength we prided ourselves on so much will simply evaporate when we face up to the fact that we are, in fact, powerless.  

Our God is all powerful, all knowing, the Alpha and the Omega.  He spoke the world into being.  He knows our hearts, our minds, and our decisions before we know them ourselves.  He knows all our imperfections, and he loves us anyway.  He loves us enough that he has plans for us, (Jer. 29:11) plans that will far exceed our wildest dreams and hopes.   But we have to give up the reigns a little bit.  We have to trust in Him more than we trust in ourselves.