The fact Florida doesn’t experience foliage proves to be a sore spot for many residents. Personally, I’m happy to live with the trade-off of year-round sunshine since driving north a state or two lets me visit fall in all its glory.
However, I may be the exception. The other day, a friend shared a graphic of the current fall foliage, which met with nearly unanimous groans. The focus was my home state, Florida, and the key read something like this:
With some, I’ll never win the sunshine over foliage argument. However, there’s one season that proximity to the equator doesn’t determine. The season of change doesn’t discriminate like fall colors or winter flurries do.
In any given year, we may face changes in jobs, professions, schools, churches, or relationships. Maybe we made or didn’t make the team this year. Maybe our new commitments require cutting out other good things from our calendars.
How do we deal with change? As I thought about this question, I remembered high school science projects (of all things), because the scientific method takes a positive, proactive approach to problem solving. In many ways, change is a “problem,” but not in the negative sense of the word. It’s a challenge, something through which we can grow and learn.
That said, here is a semi-scientific approach that may help us deal with the unavoidable changes in life.
#1: Identify the constants.
Regardless if our world seems to be spinning, God and His Word remain solid.
- “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV).
- “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV).
Though change can be uncomfortable, it can also drive us closer to God as we seek to understand His plan for our lives.
#2: Consider the variables.
“Ten years from now, will ______ make a difference?” My mom asked my brothers and me this question all the time when I was growing up, and I grudgingly came to realize she was right. Often, some perspective can help us realize that change isn’t the end of the world.
However, some decisions will have long-lasting consequences. Where we go to college, what career we choose, and who we marry will impact the course of our lives. We would be foolish not to bring these decisions before the Lord in prayer, seek godly advice from family and mentors, and consider how the options align with the calling God’s placed on our lives.
#3: Form your best solution.
Recently, I was talking with a friend and mentor whom God has called to a new opportunity and place. He told me he’d given God every chance to close the door, and yet, God hadn’t. Instead, after hours of prayer with family and friends, he believed God was calling him to move forward in faith.
The conversation reminded me of Proverbs 3:5-6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths (NKJV).
Change can be conflicting and even frightening, but when we’ve done our part, the times comes when we must move forward and trust God to do His.
#4: Accept the outcome, and let God work.
Sometimes, the results exceed our wildest dreams, and other times, we wonder if we made a misstep. I remember a period in my life when I felt God had opened a door, only to find Him closing it months later. Had I misheard His voice?
Looking back, I don’t think I had. Though that season proved difficult for me, I can see how I grew through it and how God used it to bring me where I am today. Without that experience, I would have missed out on greater blessings and opportunities.
Challenges and problems aren’t always the result of sin or misguidance. They can be God’s tools to bring us where He wants us to be.
Are you facing a change and feeling unprepared? Are you stuck on any of these steps? If so, what truths from God’s Word can help you grow through the circumstances?
The Season of Change – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)