Many things about this world, I do not understand or do not agree with. Pain is one of them. My nature is to do anything and everything in my power to avoid pain. I often question God's plan and will for my life when I find myself in the midst of painful situations. God's answer is often the same each time:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. This is the Lord's declaration. For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts then your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8-9
The pain of change is one of the worst emotional pains I know. Examples of this kind of pain are changes in my job, changes in my physical health, changes in my environment and changes in my relationships. In order to grow in wisdom, maturity and faith I must deny my urge to avoid and turn directly into the pain of change. This is not a logical reaction but one that provides wonderful results when we diligently seek the will of God through the painful times.
In my search for understanding and acceptance, I'm reminded of the precious stone: the Diamond. A diamond only gains value through years of great distress, relentless pain and powerful pressure. Without the transformation, it is a dirty substance, useful for little more than burning.
God wants me to change in order to fulfill the dreams He has for me. "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed'" (Genesis 12:1-3).
God calls His people to certain tasks, environments, relationships and times to illustrate His glory. The band, Jesus Culture, sings the lyrics, "Show me your glory, my God. I'm not afraid." As God's child, I am called to pray and believe with the attitude represented in this song. I need to stop thinking I must have my future figured out. My part is to step out in trust and believe I will meet solid ground.
Faith requires change and adaptation at times. Without change and evolution of self, we cannot fulfill God's purpose. Did you know that the dinosaurs became extinct yet there are species of animals on this earth that existed during the time of the dinosaurs? These species only survived through continual adaptation to their surroundings. As Christians (and people in general) we will constantly be given new challenges and new circumstances. The book "Who Moved My Cheese?" is a wonderful (though secular) parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings in the book must learn to survive and thrive while their environment and resources are changing. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the "cheese," and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of "cheese" when the "cheese" we have runs out. As Christians, we depend on the guidance of our Heavenly Father to help us through the maze! God says he will never forsake or abandon us but always provides for our needs (Psalm 94:14).
"For anyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" - Luke 11:10-13
Part of change is not only trusting, but also letting go, in order to be able to move on. We must be ready to release the people, places, objects,
behaviors and distractions that have acted like our security blankets for so long. Life will NOT stop around us. God's path for us extends into the future. It has not stopped where we are and it does not go in circles around us. Letting go can be hard because there has been a place carved out for things in our lives. When they are gone a void is left, acting as a reminder to these vacancies. This is a God-shaped hole and the things we were attempting to fill it do not fit in the first place. As we change into the person God has envisioned He will fill the void.
". let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith ." - Hebrews 12:1-2
We are meant for AMAZING things. I encourage us not be held back by the pain of change but to break free shouting "Show me your glory, my God. I'm not afraid."