Change in the new year
Happy New Year’s Eve, the day that most see as the beginning to a new year filled with new goals, new starts, new opportunities; change. Many of us have something we wish to improve upon and research shows common goals are weight loss, a better job, a better education, save money, manage stress etc. As 2015 quickly approaches I began to think about change and the kinds that are truly beneficial.
Scripture speaks about change, but it differs from the research that represents popular culture concern.
1 Cor 15:51-52 “Listen I tell you a mystery; We will not all sleep , but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet … the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is new in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
Romans 12:1-2 “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
Exodus 34:29 “It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.”
2Cor 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
These are a few of many scriptures that point to the most important form of transformation which is a change in Christ. When we accept Jesus the Holy Spirit comes to reside inside of you to make you a new creation in God no longer a slave to the flesh. That is why change driven by the world, is of no benefit to us in our walk towards eternity. “Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins” (1 Cor 15:50). Goals such as getting fit, becoming healthy, and managing stress are not bad on their own, only if they become more important than pursuing Christ.
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.” Matthew 28:5. However, there are times which change will occur in your life without asking permission. I have reflected on the past 2 years, and I began to see a pattern. For some reason, God has brought Jordan and I through a life changing event every 10 months. First we awaited and prepared for the arrival of our precious Claire for 10 months. Then we enjoyed experiencing parenthood with a healthy baby girl for 10 months. Next the Lord brought us through a critical 10 month period where we cared for our terminally ill daughter. Now currently we are in a 10 month period that mixes grief and excitement, mourning and joy like I have never known as we learn to live without Claire and prepare to say hello to Derek. It makes me wonder what is in store for us the 10 months after Derek is born, or the 10 months after that. Why after years of calmness and predictability did the Lord allow this constant turmoil and upheaval to enter our lives? I simply do not know, but I have been commanded to no be fearful as we continue to seek God and his will in all situations. God prepares our hearts and our minds for times like these by drawing us near to him, filling us with his spirit, and forming us into his image. Christ’s changes within me over the past ten years are what allowed me to endure this unexpected rollercoaster that has occurred in my life. No amount of weight loss, fitness, or stress management could have sustained me, only the Lord. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6
When life seems to be coming apart at the seams or swirling around me at high speeds; I desire to hold on to the only thing that I know is secure. “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, o children of Jacob, are not consumed.” The Lord and my faith in him are what I am most thankful for, and I desire to share this love throughout 2015 especially through The Claire Parker Foundation. Many people are in the same position Jordan and I were last year, under trials which none should have to face. By sharing our love for Christ and our daughter, we hope to help others through as so many have helped us. We are eternally grateful to all the support we received emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, and physically in 2014. It is the reason we want to give back. As we enter this new year I pray it is filled with healing, health, and service to others, but I am grateful for the testing on my faith which purifies and strengthens.