Stay for the Change

Photo by Michael Sander / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Several years ago I started the habit of saving my change in a jar. At the end of each day, I would take the coins in my pocket and drop them in the jar (being careful to weed out the odd Canadian penny, of course – which I don’t understand since Minnesota is practically a Canadian province).

It takes a while to save up for something worthwhile. We recently took our change to the bank and had enough to pay for dog grooming and a trip to a second run movie (Wonder Woman – don’t judge, Marvel fans) with money left over.

Change is good. But the kind of change I want to talk about isn’t necessarily coinage. It’s the change God wants to work in the hearts and lives of those who believe in Him.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  – Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Jesus calls us to come for Him. Seek Him. Follow Him. To do so requires change on our part. However, there’s a catch:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Notice, Paul tells us “do not conform… but be transformed”. In other words, we can change by conforming to the ways of this world. Or we can come to Christ and be transformed by God. We cannot do the transforming. Our part is to show up. Faithful. Expectant. Waiting on the Lord.

And therein lies the rub. Waiting… who has time for that? We are to come as we are, not leave as we came. We have to remain patiently faithful as the LORD works to change our hearts and minds to truly follow Him. Personally, I have certainly come to Jesus with more than enough ego and stubbornness for Him to cut through.

And cut He does.

God works with whatever we present Him. He’ll change our attitudes. He’ll work through our circumstances. He’ll heal our pain, give us strength, guide us along His path.

But change doesn’t usually happen overnight. It happens in God’s time. But, as we wait, the LORD is working – in us, for us, through us.

So don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Don’t turn back. Hang in there in faith while God works in you. Change takes time. And, wow, is it ever worth it!

So come as you are. But stay for the change.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

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