Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seismic Shifts in Life

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, Romans 5:3-4 (ESV)

We all are familiar with the term seismic shift in relation to earthquakes.  How about in relation to our lives?  I can honestly say lately that I feel some seismic shifts coming in my life and it scares me a little.
Seismic by definition means of enormous proportions or having highly significant consequences.  Sometimes these seismic shifts in life may or may not be enormous but they still have significant consequences.  Seismic shifts are about change.  Sometimes just one small change can bring an unexpected change to our lives.  Throughout our lives we may experience many seismic shifts. Some bring joy, some bring pain; some shifts bring us new friendships and some the loss of friendships.  Some happen because of circumstances far beyond our control and some happen as a direct result of a move on our part.  One thing is for certain, all seismic shifts create change and require faith in God.

The Ground is Shaking and the Earth is Rumbling
When I think of seismic shifts and earthquakes, I don’t think of small changes.  I think of the movie scenes of earthquakes where there is loud rumbling and the ground starts shaking and moving back and forth.  Next, the earth splits wide open leaving an enormous, gaping hole that will bring certain death if a person were to fall in the crack.  That is a lot of drama but that is exactly what it feels like is happening in our lives sometimes. One minute you feel like you are on solid ground and things are going along smoothly.  Suddenly, the ground is moving under your feet, shifting and shaking, throwing you off balance.  Seismic shifts that cause earthquakes are small changes that have a significant and far-reaching impact.  Those shifts in our lives are the same and can happen in our homes, churches, businesses, schools, spiritual lives – almost anywhere.

Growing Through Change
Changes come no matter how much we try to avoid them or stop them.  When change comes we can do one of two things.  We can either cower in the corner or we can cling to God and face it.  Sometimes you can go back where you came from but often the changes in our lives leave no option of going back.  Besides, if you go back, you could miss God’s awesome future plan for you.  We need to go forward into this strange new territory (possibly with baby steps) and see how these seismic shifts have changed our world.  Embrace the new and be open to what God is doing in your life and where He is leading you. 

Sometimes when these changes come, it doesn’t feel positive.  There are some hard life changes such as terminal illness, job loss, divorce, etc.  These seismic shifts in life are a test of our faith.  It is hard to believe that God is in control when it feels like He has dropped us off on the fault line and left us.  Even though not all change is good, God can use it for good.  We have the promise from God in Romans 8:28 that says We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  This promise from God applies to any change that may come our way. 

Look for God in the change you are going through.  Ask God for wisdom, earnestly seeking His desire for you in this situation.  Listen for His voice.  God will speak when we take the time to listen and be quiet.  Don’t ask why, but what?  Ask God what He wants you to learn and don’t focus on the circumstance but on your own character and how God is molding it.  Focus on what never changes – God’s love for us, His promises to us, and His purpose for your life.  He loves you and you don’t have to face the change alone.  He is with you always and hopefully you have other people in your life you can gain support and encouragement from as well.  Hand it over to God and trust Him, no matter what. 

Scripture to Claim:
 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

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