There is no doubt that in 2020 everything changed! And for some, it changed more than for others. I have been aware of the change in my personal life. Not only am I changing, but my circumstances, my activities, people around me, my view of myself, my marriage, my children. I cannot think of an area that has not changed, except perhaps my relationship with the Lord. That has become deeper because, in a changing world, He has been the rock I am clinging to, the One who has promised that I shall not be moved.
I feel a bit lost in all this change. Some chapters of my life are closing (as they should), and there are no new episodes. There is much to which I am saying goodbye, old roles, old relationships or activities. There is much that I have decided I am not taking with me in the next chapter of my life. There is a sense of saying goodbye and mourning. It feels like a loss in direction, identity and purpose. I have realised that I’m not too fond of this feeling of being lost, nor do I like change.
Change: how does it make me feel? It feels like a wave has just broken over your head and you are still spinning upside down under the water, trying to figure which way is up, holding your breath and waiting.
I have to admit that:
- I have been pretty comfortable in my life, have not been putting myself in situations where I need to grow and feel uncomfortable.
- I feel ‘out of control.’ This makes me wonder, how much of my life I was controlling and how much was I submitting to God?
- A lot of my identity was centered around the things that I was controlling in my life, not necessarily the Lord determining my identity.
- Change made me fearful, pushing all the fear buttons that I thought I was immune to, but with all the changes, I am having to work through again.
At the core of myself, I want to be found in a position where I am pleasing the Lord, 100% IN His will.
For me, this means being a useful vessel in His kingdom. A vessel is a container (in our case a container of the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18) used to fulfil a purpose. The Lord has many kinds of vessels in His house that He uses for His purposes:
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Tim 2:20)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
The only requirement of a vessel is to make themselves available to fulfil whatever purpose the Master calls them to. Every role in God’s Kingdom plan is important, no matter how small. When God changes our lives’ landscape, it is for His purpose and will to be fulfilled.
- To embrace a new purpose, the Lord may need to empty my hands.
- To direct me in a new direction, I may have to stand still to get His bearing.
- To prepare for a new purpose, the Lord may need to prepare a new heart in me, or train me in a new understanding or skill for the battles I will need to face.
- To position me for the future, the Lord may need to change the relationships around me, my friends, brothers and sisters in the church, partners in work etc.
- To strengthen me for the future, my faith may need to be renewed, or my closest relationships may need to be strengthened in their faith.
- To release me into the future, the Lord may need to release me from where He had me previously involved, including the responsibilities of that involvement.
I need to be willing to allow change to take its course, to surrender control of my life to the Lord.
This realisation has led me to pray:
Lord, pleasing You is the chief desire of my life. Whatever changes I need to make; I am willing to make them. Whatever God is calling me to lay aside, I am willing to lay aside. More than anything else, I want to be a useful vessel to You Lord, one that is found pleasing to Jesus when He comes for His church. Lord, if there is a hint of anything in me that is unwilling to yield to change, I declare that it is moving out with the help of the Holy Spirit and being replaced by an unrelenting desire to please You.
- Have you been comfortable, in control, or fearful in your life when it comes to making changes?
- What is the core feeling of fear or loss that you feel in the midst of change?
- As God changes the landscape of our lives with the impact of COVID-19, what changes is God bringing about in your life, and how are you responding to the change?