December 22, 2011

Christmas Changes and Challenges

"Transitions! Difficult? Yes, but it’s what God is constantly doing in our lives. He is all about transitions. The only things that are constant are God and change. We see it throughout ‘HIStory’. God is continually taking his people out of, into, or through transitions for his own glory and purpose. Remembering the lives of Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, Paul and many others we see that God never really left these men in their comfort-zone for very long. Their lives reflect the fact that God is always orchestrating our lives, our ministry, and our families for what is coming upstream. During these times we can often feel confused, fearful, and sometimes rebellious. We want clarity, but we must let go of clarity... and trust.

Two thousand years ago, God orchestrated the greatest transition of all time. Jesus entered the world, became flesh, lived and died for us so we might have a relationship with Him. This transition changed history and the world forever.

“What is going on here?” “This can’t be!” “What are we going to do now?” “How will I tell my family and friends?” How can God do this, at a time like this?” “Things were going so good!” “Now what are we going to do?” “Just look at what is happening here, it can’t be good!” “Why doesn’t God do_____?”

Haven’t we heard ourselves say these things? And yet we see that God is the Faithful One who will provide, and give us vision and strength for the near thing, even when the distant is clouded. Now, after 10 years in overseas missions, we find ourselves in this season of our lives, waiting on the Lord, again letting go of the need for clarity and remembering His faithfulness in all the times of uncertainty in the past.

Last month we attended the National Missionary Convention in Atlanta, and interestingly, the pre-conference topic was ‘transitions’. It was very enlightening and encouraging to be reminded, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” The term wait has the meaning of ‘twist’. We must twist ourselves around the Lord, and take on His character and be strengthened.

Let us encourage you if you are going through any kind of transition. Jesus came into this world to change EVERYTHING, and because of His willingness to be changed, to enter human flesh and dwell among us, we have the power to be changed and endure change.

“We don’t get to pick the assignment or the suffering that we can endure, we can only pick our attitude” Tim Dogett on ‘Missionary Transitions’ "

A note to me from friends who remain anonymous due to the nature of their work...
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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