Change = Growth. Maybe.

Change=growthChange presents fertile conditions for growth, but growth cannot be assumed.

Change arrives and alters our lives, things are different than before. The opportunity for growth looms before us, but so does the potential for disappointment and bitterness. The unpleasant truth is, it’s our choice—resist or grow?

Any change is a challenge, but when it is unanticipated, takes something from us, and doesn’t reveal what’s ahead, it’s what I referred to last week as ugly change. That criteria describes the situation of a young woman who could never have anticipated the change that came to her. It took her reputation and left her misunderstood. She didn’t know what to expect as her plans fell around her feet. Yet, she responded with humble grace and her words are still repeated with reverence:

“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

We may reason that if an angel delivered a message of change we would have the same grace. I can’t be sure of that, but I am sure that a response similar to Mary’s will serve us well whenever and however change comes our way. When we put faith before fear we can say, “I am yours. Have your way in my life.”

I can choose this response only with God’s help because I do like the comfort of what’s familiar. But when I let go and embrace the challenge of change, I grow. And what’s the alternative—bitterness, anger, rebellion? That most certainly will stifle growth, cement me in place, and cause atrophy. That’s not the life I want.

The familiar may be comfortable, but it’s also restrictive and God’s desire for us is higher and better than we imagine. He purposes for us to have hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). To that end, He prunes us through change, enabling us to produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:1-5).

Let’s trust Him along the path and watch His grace unfold.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dhigby
    Sep 28, 2018 @ 11:56:20

    As heavy travelers, my wife and I are not strangers to change. But we tend to get comfortable in a routine when at home in the US for an extended period. It scares me to think that the comfort will begin to stifle growth. It isn’t impossible for growth to happen in the comfortable times, but in our experience it is much more difficult. Time to hit the road again? It is important to stay flexible for the Kingdom!

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    • Barbara
      Sep 29, 2018 @ 12:57:36

      Thanks for your input, Doug. I thought about that a lot during the writing process… a controlled (comfortable) environment can allow and even foster growth (such as a hot house), but change always gives us the opportunity to grow.
      I’ve also long held the view that following Jesus is not about developing plans, but responding to His opportunities and then planning how to effectively follow.

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  2. Barbara
    Sep 29, 2018 @ 12:57:10

    Thanks for your input, Doug. I thought about that a lot during the writing process… a controlled (comfortable) environment can allow and even foster growth (such as a hot house), but change always gives us the opportunity to grow.
    I’ve also long held the view that following Jesus is not about developing plans, but responding to His opportunities and then planning how to effectively follow.

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  3. Maude Carolan Pych
    Oct 01, 2018 @ 20:36:28

    Thanks for sharing your God-given wisdom with us, Barbara.

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    Reply

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