I love the consistency of expected. I've mentioned before how much I love this time of year with all the beauty of the colors changing and the cooler temperatures coming and the hope of cozy, using your fireplace season. (For those of you in Texas I realize this season never comes and I'm truly sorry, but hey! you get to have 105 degree temps and cockroaches the size of small Volkswagen's--so there's that....) But seasons changing are the kind of change I like-- it's part of the expected and, in that, I have comfort. So I realize not all change is a bad thing. For instance, some of us have bad habits we would like to change, for some, a job change would be a good thing, and for others of us, an attitude change would be in order ( a certain 8 year old child o mine, comes to mind). But, change, whether it's good or bad can sometimes be hard and even painful.
Anyway, on this particular day as I'm venting all of these frustrations, God reminds me of a little known passage in the Bible about the Ebenezer stone. In 1 Samuel 7, the Israelite's have been sinning against God...again and God is basically ticked off at them (Big surprise). So, they (the Israelite's) ask Samuel, their resident profit, to tell them what to do. He commands them to: "Get rid of all your false gods and commit yourself to the Lord and serve him only" and they say: "Yeah, sounds good, lets do it" (I'm paraphrasing here). So the Philistines (arch enemies of the Israelite's) hear that they (the Israelite's) have gathered outside an area called Mizpah and they (the Philistines) say: "let's attack them". So, now the Israelite's are scared because they know they've been really naughty against God and that they know they can't fight the Philistines without God on their side so they beg Samuel to cry out to the Lord for them--
I really started to like this idea and I'm thinking "maybe this is something I need..I've been stuck in this same rut for years, nothing is changing and so maybe I just need a reminder of what God can do when I cry out to Him." So I decided to pick up my own stone and when I got home, I wrote the word Change on it.
When I look at my Ebenezer stone it is reminding me (well in my case commanding me): "Hey You! Put that donut down and go exercise instead!" or "I don't care if the sale ends today, you don't have the money to buy those super cool, last pair available, boots!" "CHANGE"! (No, my rock doesn't really talk out loud--just in case you were wondering--it's just the way I hear it in my head). I realized that all of these things I want to change are, in fact, things God wants me to change. When you have the Creator of the Universe on your side, you are not helpless, but step 1 is: you must realize that you need to change and step 2 is: you need to believe that you are not helpless to change when you ask God for help. I have some really bad habits that I've had for a long time and so getting myself a symbol to remind me daily to do something about it has been truly transforming for me.
When Super Rock Star got home from work, I told him about this brilliant idea I had to have this rock in our kitchen (thankfully, i didn't haul home the boulder I had been eyeing...seemed a bit extravagant--probably would take up too much space)
So what is it that YOU are desiring to change in your life? Is there a struggle you've been having a long time and have grown so used to it that you've lost hope that it will ever be any different? Maybe you just need a reminder. Day to day life is sometimes hard and tedious. We take baby steps and nothing spectacular happens and we think..."well maybe I just need to give up trying". Don't. It's the beginning of a new season--the fall weather is gorgeous. Go out for a walk, enjoy the cooler, crisper air (again, except in Texas....best wait til evening when the temps dip down to a tolerable 85 degrees and then you can take your ole cockroach friend for a walk), dig your hands in the dirt, pick out your own Ebenezer stone, and write your reminder on it. (You can even use special glittery pens if you want) and then put it in a place that you will see it everyday. Maybe for you it's not a reminder shouting at you TO change, but a word or phrase to remind you of some awesome thing to be thankful for--a remembrance of His faithfulness in times past and His promise to be faithful in the future.
I leave you today with a Bible verse I hope will encourage you:
Phil 1:6 "being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."