When Changes Seem Forced Upon Us

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Change happens! People desire it and are afraid of it at the same time. We’ve all gone through those feelings—numerous times in our life!  People want to change jobs they don’t like or career paths they feel are a dead-end. People want to change haircuts they’re tired of. People buy clothes they don’t need, simply because they like a change. People love to try a new restaurant just for something new. People get tired of their home décor and remodel. Friends change as seasons of life change—single friends, married friends, work friends, friends with children, church friends, activity friends and more. One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the inability to make a change and have confidence that the experience will turn out good or better than before the change. What people don’t like is when change is unexpectedly forced upon and beyond their control!

If we seek God for godly change, and pray things like, Lord, I want to draw closer to you and be more like you, which is a good thing to pray, then we better understand that we’ve just asked God to work change in our life.

There are two kinds of change the Lord works in our life in answer to our prayers. One is, He wants to help us rid our life of things that are harmful, unprofitable, or have no value. The other is. He prunes what is good so that it bears even more fruit in our life. John 15:2 NKJV says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

It’s funny. We want changes that will make our life better but we don’t often recognize it as it comes upon us. Consequently, we often resist change kicking and screaming. Most people initially hate organizational changes or system changes in the workplace, but eventually see the improvement and blessing that come from making them. I’m thankful I’ve grown in this area because I’ve learned over time that God is often involved in the changes that seem to be forced upon us, helping us get out of the ruts we were stuck in and had been praying about. And so change through kicking and screaming is all to often, only to be embarrassed as in time and with hindsight, that God was helping us all along!

When Renee and I moved into our present house, it was a gift from God. Our house is on a creek and it feels very private. I love to garden but felt limited in building one when we first moved in because the border of my back yard was a think forest. It hid most of the creek and created so much shade, that it limited what I could plant and grow. I would have loved to thin out a few trees, but had no way to accomplish that. And so I just prayed about it not being able to figure out a solution.

One day, a storm came through that took out over 10,000 trees in our community. It wiped out a number of them along our creek and back area. It seemed like a disaster and was considered that. It took the city over a year to clean out all the fallen trees. When they had finished, a perfect number of trees had been left  that allowed us to see the creek, get sunlight, and for me to expand my garden. The entire community seemed prettier once it was all cleaned up. Then the city decided that the area behind our house on the other side of the creek which had lost all its trees would make a great place to put in a walking path. It had previously been used as a place where people dumped any and everything—literally a dump. They landscaped our creek with large boulders. They put in beautiful  walking paths and ornate street light type lamps. And I finally had the sunlight I needed to build the garden I wanted.

At the time of the storms and tree cleanup, I couldn’t see all that God was doing. I could only hope and pray for a good result. But, in hindsight, I realized that everything I hoped for had happened in a way that only God could have made happen—and with no cost or effort on our part, except prayer.

When God prunes our life, it’s to get rid of the unwanted and to bring more fruit and even a better result to what is good. This has happened in my life over and over again. What I started out complaining over, manifested in the big picture of life as an absolute blessing! If only we could trust God when change that is outside of our control is happening. If we would pray in faith, knowing that God intimately and intentionally cares about the details of our life and is our Heavenly Father—the very best Father we will ever experience. Then we would pray and trust Him through every difficult change. When we go through changes, instead of being anxious, we need to lift our heart and tell the Lord, Lord, I am not sure how you are working this out, but I do know that I love you and you love me. I trust you to purge my life and bring more fruit. I know you want the best for me and I want my life to be a loving influence for you! I trust you with my life. You’re word is filled with promises of blessing and only you can make those happen as I yield my life to you! You gave me your very best when you gave me Jesus. I trust you with all the less significant areas of my life. Thank you for your help, your love, and your blessing, in Jesus name. Amen!

Change will happen throughout life, but pray knowing that the Lord is good and is answering faith-filled prayers bringing what is best for you!

Matthew 7:11 NIV “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.”

P.S. These photos are of my garden after the change!

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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