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Monday, April 9, 2007

Who likes CHANGE??

Yesterday my husband preached his last message as Senior Pastor of the church we planted over 6 years ago. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I see the Lord leading us out but on the other hand, it’s much like a child that I raised and now I have to walk away from. It is a lesson in trust for all of us.

It is also a lesson on CHANGE.
We don’t tend to like change too much, especially when it messes with some of the foundations that we build our lives on.

Sure- I love to change my furniture around and the décor of my house or even my hairstyle. Those are fun changes! But, start messing with my comfort zone and we have a problem!

Change shakes us up, and many times a “shaking” is just what we need. Here’s some of the things that “shaking” does for us:

1. Shaking can bring us down to our foundation.

After a strong earthquake, we always see pictures of the survivors walking around the ruins of buildings that once were tall and glorious, only to become piles of rubble sitting on the bottom floor.

When our lives are shaken up by change, it brings us right down to our foundation. To the things we have built our lives on. Sometimes it’s a person or people, sometimes it’s a job or position but ultimately God wants it to be Him.

Sometimes a shaking is to wake us up to the fact that we’ve been building on a foundation other than Him and His Word.

Matt 7:24-27

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
NIV

Why did one house fall?
Was one of them not built as well as the other? It doesn’t say that.
Was one storm greater than the other? It doesn’t say that either.
One house built on solid rock and one built on sand.

We tend to look at our “storms” as the problem, but God sees the foundation as the problem.
God’s right!



2. Shaking can mix things up and ultimately unify.

When I make a cake I put all the ingredients in a bowl and I mix it up. Why? Because on their own the ingredients don’t taste very good, but if I put them together and bake them- yum!
Same goes for us!

Sometimes God shakes things up to bring unity!
The outcome of that is much more delicious than the way we taste individually – all doing our own thing!

Rom 15:5-6
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
NIV




3. It can expose parts of us that we were not aware of before because they remained hidden or dormant.

Have you ever seen a family digging through the wreckage after a storm? They come across things that they probably would see everyday, but now consider them priceless treasure because they have survived the storm!

God may want to expose something in you. Maybe it’s a treasure, or maybe it’s a weakness.

1 Cor 4:5
He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.
NIV

If He brings it to light during a “shaking” then we need to deal with it. Maybe it’s unforgiveness or rage or a selfish ambition. Don’t beat yourself up when these things come out- He’s exposed them for a reason. So that you can bring it to the cross and lay them down!



4. Causes you to grab on to something for stability.

What/who do you run to when you experience a shaking? We all have something or someone that we cling to when times get tough. Spouses, family or friends, that’s good.
But what’s even better is that we FIRST go to God. He wants to be our source of security and trust.
People will let you down, their human, they can’t help it. But God will never leave you or forsake you.

We all need a little flesh and blood to hold, but we can’t let others become our security. God needs to be the one who we grab on to when change comes our way.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs. NIV

Heb 4:14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. NLT



Lord, help us to cling to You as we face change, because God You never change!

10 comments:

Chris said...

Sue,
Thank you for visiting me, it is nice to meet you!

My eyes filled with tears after reading the first paragraph. As a fellow minister's wife, without knowing any of the circumstances, I know how difficult the "last" message can be, even when God is directing all the steps. This was an excellent post and great lesson. Blessings to you today!

Rhonda said...

What a wonderful post. I felt your sadness. I can certainly relate to your comparison of it being your child. When you pour your life and heart into something; it really is your baby, especially when it's a ministry.

Grab a hold of your husband and hang on tight to God with anticipation of what He has next for you.

Bless you.

Kim said...

What a beautiful post! I see that trusting and leaning on God for your stability is of utmost importance to you. May God bless your future in Him!

Kim

Natalie Joy said...

Hi Sue, I found you through Chris's blog. I, too am a pastor's wife and know how difficult change in the ministry can be. The uncertainty is the worst, but God is always faithful. Our ministry change has produced a beautiful relationship with our new SR. pastor and a releasing of God's true desire for us in ministry. You just never know what God has around the corner for you. God's blessings to you.

Natalie Joy said...

P.S. I LOVE coffee, too. Did I say I LOVE coffee. I actually
LUH-HUV!!!!! COFFEE.

Toni (In the midst...) said...

What a truly powerful blog entry! I needed to be reminded of the ways that God uses change for my good and His glory. We drove home to visit family over Easter, 6 hours away. Today when leaving, my 7½ yo daughter's heart was broken. She sooo misses our extended family. As we drove past our former home in the country, I found my own heart breaking as well. A large part of my heart will always be there in the country. And the longing came. I longed to be there again and I longed for my daughter not to be hurting so. Your words were exactly what I needed to hear tonight after a very long drive home. Thank you!
Blessings,
~Toni~

Amanda's got Baby Bangs said...

What a good word! I can't imagine how hard it would be to leave a church you planted.

Jill said...

Thank you! I needed to hear that today.
Jill here via babybangs

Kelly said...

Such an insightful post! Glad to "discover" you through Chris.

Tamatha said...

The first thing I thought of when I read the title of this post is "I don't!"lol...how the heart speaks up when you listen.
I love the way that you express your thoughts...the things that are on your heart. It reaches me deep inside...I know it is the Lord working thru you. Blessings to you.:o)

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