Monday, December 10, 2012

Change, An Opportunity to Grow

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

— Romans 8:28 NLT

On a Friday night when I was 14-year-old freshman in high school, my parents took my brother and me out to dinner. Before dinner arrived, they said they had some news: we would be moving to across the world, to Israel, temporarily for my dad’s job.

I immediately broke down in tears, appalled that they would do this to me. I had friends, I had boys that I liked. I would miss out on so much. I felt that it was all so unfair.

In the months leading up to our departure, I remember that all of my parents’ friends and my family would say to me, “What a wonderful opportunity for you!” I’d roll my eyes. I dreaded leaving.

But once I was there, an amazing thing happened. I learned that they were right. I was able to experience things most people only dream of: walking where Jesus walked; floating in the Dead Sea; visiting Egypt, Italy, Greece and Turkey in a six-month time span; and experiencing life in a completely different culture.

And most importantly, God used this move in our lives to change our eternity. My mom, who didn’t work while we lived there, thought she’d pick up a Bible. Hey, we were in the Holy Land, right? God took that opportunity to draw her to Him, which inevitably led her salvation and eventually to mine.

The takeaway: Change isn’t easy; none of us like to move from where we’re comfortable. But whenever we’re faced with change, we can trust that God will use the circumstances to allow us to grow and mature. Just as a puddle of water will become stagnant if it’s not flowing, we’d never produce fruit if He always left us right where we are.

We still might go into the situation kicking and screaming on the inside, as I did with my move to Israel, it’s our human nature. But we can trust that God’s plans for us are good, even in the midst of change, and we can wait in anticipation for what He has in store for us.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

— Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

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