Change…we all seem to run from it hoping it will never touch us and yet it does. When our girls were younger, much younger, we decided to paint the family room. As we began to paint, our oldest daughter, Danielle, ran upstairs crying. I followed her trying to understand why she was crying. She didn’t like change. She wanted the living room to stay the same color that it had always been for as long as she could remember. For children, change is unsettling. They feel like their world is not a safe place or it gives them a feeling of insecurity. In the midst of these little changes, like painting a room, we must teach our children that some change is not bad and how to cope with change that inevitably does take place.
We each go through different changes in our lives. Some we see as contributing nothing but pain in our lives and other change we see as a positive change. A new and better job, a new car, new clothes, new friends…some changes brings us happiness while other changes bring us turmoil. The loss of a friendship, a move, the loss of a job, children growing and moving away….
As I look back and consider the move we made over a year ago and the change that it brought in our lives, I will admit it was not easy for us to leave behind what we knew and the church family that had become our family. I knew it was where the Lord would have us and I knew that God’s ways and the change He brings in our lives is always for our good, but sometimes it takes time to see all the good, even though by faith I knew it would be good.
As I realized the good God is doing though change in our lives, I see others that struggle with change. They resist it. They do not want to see the good that change can bring. They want everything to stay the same.
This process of change is one of the ways that God brings about growth in our lives. It reminds me of the process of progressive sanctification in the life of a believer. As a believer we begin with positional sanctification at the moment of salvation. We believe Christ paid the penalty for our sins and enter into a relationship with Christ, we are in the position of sanctification, set apart and holy unto God. The remainder of our lives is the process of progressive sanctification which takes us from where we are positionally and progresses us to what we will be ultimately in heaven, progressing us to be “holy as Christ is holy.” (I Peter 1: 15, 16). The process of progressive sanctification many times happens through the medium of change.
I am not advocating change for change sake, but I do believe as believers we should be pliable in the hand of our Creator as He brings challenges through change into our lives to bring about greater levels of holiness in our lives.
The striking contrast to this change in our lives that needs to be continually taking place is the changelessness of our Creator God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). God does not change. Nothing in His character ever needs to change because He is the perfectly holy God. Modeling our character after the character of God is our goal.
As we face changes in our lives, rather than dig in our heels resisting the change, we must view it as a stepping stone in the process of our progressing sanctification.
“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (I Peter 1:15, 16)