Doug Creamer: God is the author of change
Our church has gone through a peaceful change of leadership. Our previous pastor retired and now we have a new pastor.
I liked things the way they were, but our previous pastor deserved to slow down and enjoy the golden years of life. He doesn’t need the responsibility of running a church at this point in his life. It was time to pass the torch.
Our new pastor is well aware that his arrival signals change for us. In fact, his first Wednesday night Bible study was about change. He explained the process we must all go through to make change in our lives. He even pointed out that he and his family are going through lots of change themselves — new job, moving, a new home, etc. So while he was teaching us about how to adjust to the changes he will naturally bring to our church, he is experiencing plenty of change in his own life. I like it when pastors teach from experience.
So we are going to see some changes at church. I am also beginning to face some changes in my professional life. I am about to complete my 30th year of teaching in NC. That means I am eligible to retire. I am not ready to retire. I will have to continue to work someplace, so I am trying to decide when I will leave teaching and pursue something else — change! I will have to change what I have been doing for over 30 years. I don’t like changes in my professional life or my church life. What am I going to do?
I am also facing changes in my physical body. I can’t work in my yard all day without some sit-down breaks. I used to be able to work long hours outside, but my body complains a lot if I work too hard. I have also noticed that my pants are getting a little tighter. I have been warned that getting larger pants is not an option. I used to be able to drop a few pounds so easily when I was younger … what happened? Change seems to be the only thing that doesn’t change in life.
So what about God, does He change? The Bible teaches us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Whew, finally something that doesn’t change! The absolute truth is that God doesn’t change, but our understanding and the depth of our relationship with Him will change. No one, including my former pastor who is a wise Bible scholar, knows everything about God. Our finite brains cannot know everything about God.
God wants us to grow and know Him better. God will reveal Himself to us a little at a time. He will put us in places where we have to stretch our understanding of who He is. He wants us to know more about His character, so He will allow situations that reveal those qualities to us. He wants us to know that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can depend on Him. That means He will allow the storms of life to rage so we will find refuge in Him. That means that He might allow things to get tight financially so we can know that He will provide for us.
God wants us to know Him intimately, so I have known God to pull away so I will pursue Him and seek to know Him more. God wants us to know Him as faithful, loving, merciful, and compassionate. So He will allow circumstances that help us to see those qualities in Him. God wants to change us and make us more like Christ. I don’t know about you, but there is much about me that needs changing to become more like Christ. God is working behind the scenes to mold me and shape me into the man of God He desires me to be. That means that He has to change me, so I can become more like Him and be His representative here on earth.
All of the above requires each one of us to go through change. I want to encourage you to hold onto God as He works the changes in your life. God loves you and wants the best for you, so that means that God is going to allow situations that that will mold you into the image of Christ. Let me be clear: tragedies are not from God, but God can use them to make you more like Him. We all want a closer walk with Jesus, which means God is going to change us.
Doug Creamer has authored two books: The Bluebird Café and Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
As I write this and prepare for my second farm tour of the week, a childhood phrase comes to mind:... read more