1 Peter 1:6-7
"Be truly glad!..... These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure.... So if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return."
Isn't it strange as, we age, we seem to think where we are at this moment is where our trail has ended. We become complacent, not willing to view our world peripherally but rather through tunnel vision. We don't want to deal with little mishaps and innuendos that flood our outfield each day. After all, this world has become quite comfortable, and so have we, that change is something not often welcomed.
It is important to remember the Bible says, "We are God's workmanship" (Ephesians 3:10). That means we are continually a work in progress, not a finished product. Be willing to deal with any issues that God brings up. Work with Him in the refining process rather than fighting against Him. Simply put, we are never too old for change.
Scripture says that God is the potter and we are the clay. Clay works best when it is pliable, malleable, and moldable. But if you are hard, crusty, and set in your ways, God will have to pound away on that old, hard clay to get out the lumps.
Several years back I can attest to this pounding. I am an educator by trade. A friend and I decided to reform the present mission statement at our school. We were getting in quite a few students who were slipping through the cracks in the traditional school model. So, we thought we'd implement a new program that had bit more enrichment utilizing our natural state sunshine.
Honestly, I had felt that "pull" from God directing me to take special education children. But, we both felt we were not trained to do so, not to mention the added patience we would need to organize an entire student body. So we resisted taking in special needs scholarships due to a preconceived notion. Sure, we received a few students who were interested in the new program but not enough. Shortly, two years later, we had to close our doors.
I found myself without a job for two years. Financially it was quite a drain, and by the time my unemployment was up I had desperately taken a job with special needs. God had "pounded" on my door for years and I never listened! Now he had pounded that clay so furiously that I had no alternative but to take the job at hand or lose whatever I owned.
Needless to say of course, this was not what I had planned and the first few weeks were questionable. How can I get a routine in this class? How can I get the non verbals to respond? Many were high functioning, but what do I do with the rest? Even so, there was a sense of calm inner wisdom guiding me through God's own hands.
As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I found a renewed peace. This was were I was supposed to be. There were no extra demands from this job as I had previously thought. In fact, this was the easiest, most self-rewarding, job I ever had! Why had I not listened to God before? Was it because I was too old, set in my ways?
Too often we pray, "God if you will change my circumstances, then I'll change." That was me, praying my soul out every day, asking for more kids! God was sending me kids- just not the one's I thought I wanted! You see, it always works the other way around. We have to be willing to change our attitudes and deal with the issues God brings up, then god will change those circumstances.
Certainly, none of us enjoy going through struggles, but you have to understand that your struggle may be an opportunity for advancement and promotion. The very thing you are fighting against so tenaciously may be the springboard that catapults you to a new level of excellence. Your challenges may become your greatest assets, just like mine did!
So, if you are going through a change right now, buckle up and get on for the ride. Keep your feet and hands in the cart and let God steer the way!
This Week's Meditation:
God, please give me the strength and courage to make these changes in my life.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. If you are especially upset state:
God I knew you are in the drivers seat. Please grant me the knowledge and patience to take on this new quest you set before me.
Remind yourself of healing each moment. God has you in his arms always.