From the beginning of time our world has been changing, evolving. We’ve gone from the beginning of time to what some are calling today, the end time. But no matter how you look at it, it’s been constant change. Each generation brings change, a new way of doing things and thinking about things.
Take the little # sign for instance. Over the years this little # sign has taken on a different meaning for people.
For example, #Pound or #hashtag?
I heard a funny story the other day of a guy who is considered a Gen X gave his gate code to his friend who is considered a Millennial and his friend could not get the gate opened to his complex. After numerous attempts he called to make sure he was entering it correctly. Yes, it’s 1-2-3-4# (pound). His friend tried again and as he said, 1-2-3-4 he stared blankly at the keypad looking for the pound sign. As he paused looking for the pound his buddy said, Oh I guess for you it’s “hashtag” and the gate opened.
Even the smallest change can impacts us.
Now I realize I am using a small example of change when I speak of the # sign but we all know change is inevitable.
God’s Word tells us to not conform to the ways of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2)
God’s plan was and still is to keep his people settled, secure and confident in that He is in control even when the world is in constant change. Some of the change we encounter will be uncomfortable but whether it is good or bad we must embrace God. In our embracing God fear will dissipate and we will then be able to live in the change without jeopardizing who we are and what we believe. This is when God’s love can shine through us and we can be the change in the world we want to see while remaining true to him and his ways.
Christians lived and shared their faith differently 2000 years ago than they do today. However, our God has remained the same. God does not change. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8) We too need to learn to be creative in how we reach the world for Christ. We will need to open our minds and heart to how we share our story, and how we will love like God loves.
His command to love one another and to love him with all our heart, soul and mind is meant for every generation past, present and future. Whether it is #thatshowyouchangetheworld or #2015 this command was given for our good so we too would know how to walk in an ever changing world with dignity, truth, love and hope as we move toward the end time.
In the beginning of May a little bird built its nest outside my bedroom window and began singing me awake every morning between 3:00am – 3:30am. At first I thought, how sweet! But that did not last long as this became an every morning occurrence and I was getting worn out from a lack of sleep. After about a week of this I came to the conclusion this little bird must be on East Coast time and I began to pray it would adjust to PDT. However, this did not happen.
It was during this same week I sensed God asking me to “Be still”. Everywhere I went I’d see a sign, a verse, or in my reading these words would pop up, “Be Still”. God often speaks to me through these types of repeated occurrences so I knew, it was him trying to get my attention. However, it can be a challenge for me to be still for long periods of time as my mind begins to race to other things I feel need my attention. It really takes quiet and discipline. The next week I made a point to sit quietly and pray over the things I felt God was nudging me about but after no “Ah Ha” moment I became frustrated. Not to mention I was growing impatient with the little song bird waking me up every morning at 3am.
One thing I know about God is when he wants to teach us something, show us something or tell us something he can be relentless in trying to get our attention. For this I am thankful as I long to know more of God and understand his ways. I am thankful he pursues me with the intent to bring me closer to him and closer to the things he has for me.
So I found myself becoming anxious to unlock this secret of why God needed me to be still and why was this bird waking me every morning at the same time. No matter how much I tried during my meditation and devotional time I found myself struggling with my inability to wrap my heart and mind around what it was God was asking of me, and questions of what, when, how, what, when, how began to race through my mind.
I wanted my “ah ha” moment!
It was after a month of waiting and being woken up by the song bird when I was sitting in Mariners Saturday night service listening to our high school pastor preach. While wrapping up the message he touched on surrender and how important it is to “Be Still” in order to know more of what God has for us, and may be asking of us. Now I know this, I have learned this and I have practiced it. But for some reason God was calling my attention back to being still and I found myself asking, “God, is there something I need to surrender?” I thought I had finally surrendered everything when moving to So Cal but I could not help but feel there was something I might be hanging on to. Our pastor preceded to describe a guy holding onto a raft with one hand while in the water and using his other hand to help keep him a float and I knew I’d been there before! That feeling of having to hang onto something vs. just letting go and letting God.
As I left church I was conflicted in my ability to “surrender” but more determined than ever to see myself as God sees me, and to learn of what it was I had not completely let go and trusted God for in my attempt to Surrender all things.
The next morning I pulled out my Life Group lesson and as I turned the page there it was again, “Be Still”. And then I thought about my new visitor who sings me to wake every morning and there it was, my “Ah Ha” moment!
It was in that hour of no distraction I discovered I had my heart wrapped tight around some things I’d considered surrendered to God. Apparently I had kept my grip on some things God wanted back. My heart was moved by the truth of how God has my back and knows what breaks my heart and what brings joy. And so it began to make sense to me. God was asking me to be still so he could show me the things I had yet to completely surrender. The concerns I’d been hanging onto. He wanted all of them so I could be free to spend time with him and learn more of who he is and what he has for me.
Who knows our heart better than anyone? The One who formed us in the womb. The One who placed our heart and soul divinely into our human body with the hope that we’d discover our great need for him.
So in my inability to surrender all to God he stepped in and began singing to me outside my window through a little bird. During the day he worked to capture my attention through my readings, billboards, and through the words of others in hopes of getting me to be still and quiet long enough to hear of how surrendering is the beginning of learning to trust him in and for all things. I’ll have you know my song bird is no longer waking me up so I must be doing ok for now.
The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and My God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?