I’ve never been a big fan of senseless or nonsensical change! You know, like all this Covid insanity and all of those minute by minute changes because nobody really knows anything with the exception of political drama. How disturbingly sad. But, laying all of that aside I’ve always believed that if something isn’t broken, dysfunctional or causing problems, LEAVE IT ALONE! If something ain’t yours or you have no business being involved in the matter, LEAVE IT ALONE! Keep your nose in your business, you know the saying, “let sleeping dogs lie.” That’s actually very sound advice and so is “learn to distinguish when you are helping and when you are meddling.” Well, enough said, but you should know that Change can be one of the most stressful things in life, even when the change is desired. Resistance to change is natural to human nature. In fact, there is a saying in neuroscience that “neurons that fire together, wire together.” This means that the more we do something, the more it becomes not only habit, but biologically ingrained. It helps to explain why change takes so much effort, and why we naturally have a resistance to change. Of course, we know that change is inevitable.
We can lessen our resistance to change by taking an inward and outward look on how we live our daily lives. We can accept change as we keep our eyes upon the Lord and our hearts tuned to His word. God’s work of renewal in us is compared to that of a refiner’s fire (Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2; Isaiah 48:10; 1 Peter 1:7) and to a gardener’s pruning shears (John 15:2). The process of refining or pruning tends to be unpleasant, so we resist. But the outcome of a refiner’s fire is purified precious metal.
We can usually identify the character traits God is building in us or removing from our lives. For example, it’s easy to know when He’s building our patience! During those times there appears to be an abundance of trials and unpleasantness in our lives. And there are times when we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and work with God to make changes in ourselves.
But what about the undesirable changes? We have no control over them, we don’t want them, but they happen anyway. We lose a job or become chronically ill. A friend moves away. A church leader steps down. The end result of these changes may not be obvious. It is during these times that Romans 8:28 becomes a firm foundation. We know that God is working all things according to His purpose, and we know that His purpose is always good. So, we can trust that He is using even undesirable changes for our benefit. It may be that an illness will draw us closer to God or draw our family closer together. It may be that God has a new calling for a new season of life.
Growth requires change; our resistance to change could actually be a resistance to growth. So, when we are going through times of change in our lives let us remember that God has not changed his personality or other attributes and He is diligently watching over us and keeping us in view and on track if we are trusting Him. He is up to something good!
RUSS HOBBS MINISTRIES E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org