When it comes to change, how do you respond? Do you panic and worry that you’ll not be able to handle what is ahead?
Are you willing to be called out of comfortable places?
Or do you fight against the work God wants to do in you? Do you find yourself fussing and complaining about how much better it was “back then” . . . or maybe where you are right now even though you haven’t experienced true freedom?
I ask this question because as a life coach, I’m continually helping women move through change and having an understanding of our “change response” is helpful helping when we are at the brink of something new.
I’ve discovered that there are three different kinds of change scenarios:
- Forced Change: such as a job situation, financial pressure, or the progression of motherhood with children that just won’t stop growing up.
- Opportunity Change: such as a new job or ministry position, a welcomed relationship through marriage or having a child.
- Conviction Change: such as deciding that staying “as is” is no longer the goal but moving forward is what is needed, like losing weight for health’s sake or pursuing a hidden dream.
I bet you can see how the reason for change most certainly impacts how it is embraced. There’s nothing great about changed being forced upon us, whereas a new ministry opportunity or the steps toward unwrapping a dream is a much more enticing endeavor. However, regardless of the reason for change, the courage to take the next step is directly tied to our beliefs about Jesus and His presence with us on this journey to eternity.
Without Jesus, life is plain scary.
With Jesus, there is a promise for provision and power and purpose, even when the whole picture doesn’t come together.
So let me ask you, is Jesus with you on this journey?
Do you see Him for who He is and what He does? Or are you looking through a set of lenses that skews the truth of about your best companion? Because the opportunity is before you to see Jesus for who He really is and what He truly wants to offer you.
Jesus is compassionate.
The Good News for all of us is that when we walk into a transitional season, whether it is forced upon you or something we’ve decided to embrace on our own, Jesus meets us right there . . . at the starting point, the rest points, and the finish line.
Jesus sees us exactly how he saw the crowd when He, “stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
Maybe that’s what exactly what you have to imagine as you continue on this journey of faith with a longing for soul deep healing. Jesus sees you sister!
Jesus doesn’t turn anyone away.
As the crowds continued to press in on Jesus, the disciples urged him to send them away, feeling anxious about the time and the need for the people to eat. Instead, Jesus told them to do the exact opposite — to feed the people (Matthew 14:15-16). Maybe you’re afraid you’re too much for Jesus and that your need right now isn’t nearly as important as someone else’s. That’s what the disciples thought but that’s not how Jesus thinks.
Jesus responds to the need.
He sees it, acknowledges it, and gives thanks to the Father for what He has yet to accomplish.
Jesus took what He had and offered it up to His Father in Heaven, giving thanks for the present provision while anticipating the one to come. Before Jesus turned the five loaves of bread and two fishes into enough food to feed the five thousand, He “looked up toward heaven, and blessed them” (Matthew 14:18) To use Lysa TerKeurst’s words, “Thanksgiving precedes the blessing.”
When you’re in a season of change, uncertain about what is to come, a posture of thanksgiving is all that is required of you.
Thank God for what was. Thank God for what is. Thank God for what is to come, even though you may have no idea what that looks like.
Jesus promises that courage comes with His presence in our lives.
Even after the disciples witnessed the miraculous work of Jesus feeding the five thousand, they didn’t quite get how the power of God might manifest in their lives. It’s safe to say we struggle like this too. When the strong winds and heavy waves began to beat against the disciples’ disciple’s boat, Jesus went to them in an unlikely fashion — he walked on water. If I was a disciple, I would have been a little freaked out too. Isn’t that normal when we face something new and unfamiliar?
Jesus spoke to them “at once” — He doesn’t delay in hearing us or seeing us (Matthew 14:27). Instead, He addresses the heart of the matter, which in this case was clearly fear. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Take Courage. I am here!” Sister, maybe that’s exactly what you need to hear right now. You don’t have to be afraid because Jesus is with you.
Jesus calls us to step out of the boat in courageous faith.
Jesus not only comes to us. He calls us to come to Him, even in the middle of our storms.
It’s a two-way relationship that is built on faith.
When Jesus called Peter to step out of the boat and walk on water, Peter responded immediately. I wonder if he jumped out or slipped out? Either way, Peter took that step of faith. Yet when the winds whipped up and the waves came crashing upon him, he panicked and began to sink. Do you think maybe that’s because he took His eyes off Jesus and focused on his circumstances? How many times do we do the same thing? Yet, our compassionate Lord and Savior did not let Peter drown. He immediately reached out and grabbed him. He’ll do the same for us, maybe also with a similar rebuke, “You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me? (Matthew 14:21)”
No matter where you find yourself today, change is an inevitable part of life.
God is always about the business of calling us out of our comfortable places and into deeper faith.
Maybe that’s through a move across the country. Maybe that is a result of a broken relationship. Maybe it’s due to a loss of a loved one or a dream. Maybe it’s because He has you at the beginning of something new — like a healthier way of living. Friend, whatever you are being called out of, you can be certain that Jesus is calling you into a deeper relationship with Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you sent Jesus to be our Savior, rescuer, redeemer, and friend. Thank you that He is always with us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, leading and guiding us through every step of change we face, every single day. Lord, may we trust you more, with our eyes fixed on you. May we step out of the boat and onto the water, with deeper faith enabling us to walk straight to you. In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.
“. . . and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Matthew 14:14 NLT
Join me for more devotionals and encouragement in the 40 Day Sugar Fast hosted by Wendy Speake.