Yes, I know it’s only nine days into January.
Yet, this new year has already brought some unexpected changes that are testing my resistance to change.
The first few days of 2014, my husband, Jim, and I were recovering from an intense virus and fever. We were in bed by 10pm on New Years Eve. How exciting!
This week, we abruptly ended our association with a chorale group that we enjoyed singing in for over two seasons. All ended well but not as I would have foreseen, making the decision much more traumatic in my mind.
And last night, I had a bizarre accident with a toothbrush (don’t ask!) and put myself in the urgent care clinic. While I’m writing this, I’m barely able to move my mouth and swallow. I had to cancel the substitute teaching job I was scheduled for today, because I can’t talk! Pureed soup anyone?
2013 wasn’t exactly smooth sailing either. I felt the roller coaster of Jim’s career as change after change was dictated by the whims and decrees of the White House. My husband sells health insurance and Obamacare. Can you spell F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N? Enough said!
What’s coming next?!
Already, with less than two weeks into the new year, I’m realizing again that I’m not very good at handling change. I knew this before. I’m a planner and organizer. All of theses situations have caused cancellations, delays, or uncomfortable stress in my life. Uprooting my plans is not what I pray for. I want stability in my relationships and circumstances.
Oh, Lord, I desire personal growth, but can I go at my own pace?
Jim occasionally says, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Right! I realize this is not a biblical quote but nevertheless it makes me think.
Am I ready for what God brings into my life? Do I trust Him to securely handle whatever circumstances arise?
Or do I worry about what I cannot control? I’m admit I’m affected by the latter far too often.
I love these verses from Isaiah 54. Even though these promises were made to the Israelite people, I believe I can take comfort from the entire Bible as a believer in Jesus.
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
“In righteousness you will be established;
You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear;
And from terror, for it will not come near you.”
And in the New Testament, Jesus speaks directly to his disciples’ worries and fears in John 14.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
Yes! Who doesn’t want God’s peace? And my favorite short verse about Gods’ care over me is 1 Peter 5:7.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
If you are drained by the burdens of unexpected change and challenges to your faith, I’m writing to encourage you that you are not the only one.
You have a sister in the same boat with you.
But I pray that we can row towards the gracious love of the Father instead of against the tide of change He brings into our life. I make my life more difficult by trying to resist His good plans. Do you?
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Better yet, maybe we should give Him the oars and let Him row for us! How much easier my life would be if I gave up the reigns of control and trusted in His care for my life. He knows how to steer through the rough waters and snags of life. He has been there and lived it! I have a sympathetic High Priest who understands. (Hebrews 4)
Whether I have money or stability or a stress-free life or NOT, I’m still loved and cared for. This is world not my home and I have much to look forward to.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14: 1-3
I’m often encouraged by going back and reading about God’s faithfulness in my journal writings. In every year of my life, I’m always amazed how God works out the details of my desperate prayers. He was good and faithful in the past.
He will be good and faithful in 2014 and beyond.
Maybe I’ll just go read one of my journals now.