Something About Life Giving You Lemons

chris-ralston-484562-unsplash.jpg

The world we lived in 10 years ago no longer exists. The one we lived in 5 years ago doesn’t exist either and if you look closely, not even the world we lived in 365 days
ago exists anymore. Change is happening everywhere, every day and not one single human on this massive, revolving planet is exempt.

Sometimes change happens and we don’t recognize that it even happened for a long time. Other times, it comes in sweeping you off your feet, messing up your perfectly laid out plans, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth and a consistent uncomfortable feeling in the depths of you, like a rock dragging you to the bottom of the ocean. There’s uneasiness and an uncertainty that follows and persists until change has squeezed the life out of you, literally, and leaves you--well, changed.

Avoiding change or running from it kicking and screaming has never once worked out for me. When I do, my mind transforms it into an enemy, viewing it as one waiting in the wings ready to pounce and destroy everything I have worked for and desire. There are rare times where it’s soft and easy.

It is not a gentle cycle but one designed for our good. When a new change comes into my life, it can be difficult for me to see what God wants to mold in me through it. It can take weeks, months or even years but God has never left me alone in anything. It can show its face in big ways – through death, illness, the end of a relationship, moving away, money troubles, abuse, drugs and alcohol just to name a few but it can also show its face through a gentle tug, deep inside that you know means to turn one way instead of another.

When I was 18, I was so sick, there were days I thought I wouldn’t make it. Every meticulous plan I had made to go away to college was snatched away from me in an instant. The college experience I so desperately wanted was derailed. I had to watch all of my friends live the life I had planned to live without me. It hurt. Instead, I had daily doctors appointments and became accustomed to a life of being poked and prodded, my privacy a vanishing act. I remember thinking how much I wanted to be like everyone else and have a normal life. I remember the tears. I remember needing help to stand up. I remember learning to walk again. I remember the pain. I remember going through a period of anxiety that was literally breathtaking, wondering why things had to get worse than they were. Couldn’t God have eased up a little?

If He had eased up, it wouldn’t have been for my good and He wouldn’t have receive the glory He was due. My relationship with God flourished. I learned how to let my prayers flow freely. I learned what kind of God He is and felt His love and compassion for me in ways I never had before. I met some of my now closest friends when I moved home. I met my husband, whom I never would have met if I had followed through with the plans borne of my own hand.

Don’t follow yourself. Don’t follow others. Follow God.

What once seemed like the worst period of time in my life has become something I am grateful for and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Nothing really is sweeter than a full, overflowing relationship with Jesus. Storms come and go. God does not.

“You will roll them up like a cloak, and they will be changed like a robe. But You are the same, and Your years will never end.” – Hebrews 1:12

God does not change and He will never end. His love and grace are there for the taking but we have to actively choose to access it. We have to choose Him. Whatever is thrown at you, whatever plans are derailed, believe and trust that God is there, holding out His arms, waiting to embrace you. That doesn’t mean He will take away your problems. God is not a genie, but He will mold you and grow you instead. Be the clay, and let Him be your potter.

The longer you fight, the harder it gets. It’s like digging yourself into a hole so deep that you could never get out. But know that God can take you out of the deepest pits, no matter where you are right now.

Let God grow your garden. Rip up those life-draining, soul-sucking weeds and let the Spirit plant His fruits in their place. It won’t be easy. You might have to face the things you thought you had buried long ago but we were not made for a life of comfort. We do not walk an easy path.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

I’m running towards change with open arms. I know I’m going to get the wind knocked out of me. I know it’s going to hurt. I know God is going to shed his light on things I’d rather have Him leave in the dark. But I also know being comfortable is dangerous. What’s left in the dark has the power to hurt me more than letting God weed it out of me.

Step into the light. Embrace the change. Roll with the punches. God is in the midst of it all, waiting for you, as a lighthouse for the lost, the weary and the broken.

- by Sydney Williams