Change is a funny thing. We want it, and we don’t. In a state of change? It is uncomfortable and we miss the steady days long gone past. In a state of monotony? Our limbs grow antsy and eyes flit to and fro, looking for something else.
This is me. Not satisfied in either, disliking both.
But – currently – I’m learning to appreciate change. As I examine my life, things have started to move on for me, on from the norm of where I was comfortable. It is moving towards the unknown, the uncontrolled, and the undefined.
In this change, it is as one moving through a stream; the settled dust is kicked up, the accumulated grime is disturbed, and the hidden crevices and buried sediment are emptied out and turned over. The particles fill the swirling water and rise, and made visible is that which was previously disguised.
I ask: What is this filth? Before the feet turned the earth, the water was clear and the bottom was visible. All seemed well.
Filth that was hibernating in my heart has been brought up into my line of vision. It is not as if this mire was absent, my riverbed clean, and these things have just been newly introduced to the ecosystem. No – it was all there this whole time. I remember it, for it is familiar stuff, debris from past heartaches and struggles. Time passed, and I was able to stuff it down, move past it, ignore it.. as I became comfortable. I learned that I could overshadow the grime with a full schedule and a face-paced lifestyle and comfort.
I ignored, ignored, and ignored some more, and the waters cleared. The dirt was not attended to, but it settled where it could (or rather, I stuffed it down where I wouldn’t have to look at it/deal with it). In its little crevice in the floor of my heart, it could not hurt me.
But change rustles our life’s grass and turns the critters out of hiding, and these critters have the names: fears, insecurities, and sin. These are beasts I thought I had already dealt with and moved on from, but continued to see their faces in my weak moments, the moments when the pace of life slowed, or when I was too exhausted to keep up the smoke. “Busy” and “routine” were like a gloss over these things that are like dirt under paint – taking away the smoothness of peace. More gloss and the dirt becomes less noticeable.. yet the dirt is still there. It never leaves, just is buried deeper.
In the midst of all the crud being kicked back up into my eyes, I am truly learning to appreciate it. Maybe that sounds strange, but in all of this I have found Jesus is walking with me through the stream, walking with me into the swirling grime, and telling me this….
“I love you too much to let this lie here and drain your joy. I love you too much to sit by while the dirt scars your soul. I love you enough to be part of this, to purge the harm and the hurt out of your soul so that your breathing can be clearer and your sight brighter.”
And, friends: this is love. It is more than just a placid niceness that delicately steps around my crap and says that everything is okay. This is love. It reaches into the infected and gross places and is willing to walk through the pain, to trudge through the struggle, in order to truly heal me and make me whole.
A doctor would not be loving if he left the cancer inside.
My God would not be loving if he left the lies and rebellion in my soul.
In this process, I have hope. This hope is based on His character and His goodness and His grace, and I can be certain that my circumstances will not shake either. This hope is a cord guiding my restless heart closer to His; to it alone I will cling tightly and follow, follow Him to the glory that shall outweigh all of this.
let thy grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
So, if you are experiencing turbulance, and it hurts, and you find yourself drowning in the flood… He is there. The Rock still stands, and I can promise you that in the moments when you see all other ground falling away, if you turn your eyes to Him, the faithfulness of Him as your Refuge will bring you to your knees in blessed relief. When else is a rock more appreciated for its strength than when the sand around it proves a danger to our very souls? Cling to Him, trust his steady hand, and rest in the knowledge that the movement will be a movement towards Him if you allow it to be so. What better prize, than to be a step closer to our Creator? What would be too high a price for that?
This Lover of my soul, who delights in and sings over me, is worth any change, any struggle, and He longs to be the same to you. I’m seeing the truth of it brighter and brighter each morn.
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C.S. Lewis