Change is Coming
by Jenny Simmons
I believe God is all-powerful, holy, and completely sovereign. He can do anything He wants whenever He wants. But God’s sovereignty in my life has always played out in a chorus of free will, sin, and the state of brokenness in which we live as humans. That means sometimes I see God show up in profound and divine ways. Other times, I can’t see God’s hand changing or shaping the situation at all; I only feel God’s presence standing strong with me, carrying me, as I move forward.
It’s all very Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” The valley doesn’t disappear and sometimes the healing doesn’t happen on earth in the broken body, but the presence of God draws near. The constant presence of God, dwelling within me, is capable of guiding me into a peace that passes any understanding. Peace that comes without all the answers and shiny red bows.
Perhaps Jesus Himself is the only answer we will ever get. The living, breathing embodiment of all things being made new in the midst of a really broken world. The Bible, if nothing else, is the most epic story of redemptive beauty ever written.
The answer God gave us was Jesus. And Jesus came as a defenseless baby to a young, poor, newly married couple in the dark of night. Why should our answers look any different? More often than not, the story works itself out like Jesus, all backwards, without shiny bows and the happily-ever-after we originally dreamed up.
I am no longer grieving, burying, and wandering through the wilderness. New life has come. But we still struggle to pay the bills. Maybe we always will. And that’s okay. Maybe my restoration has nothing to do with money or security. Maybe God is in the business of restoring in ways that are completely other. Maybe the answer isn’t ever getting the answer, but getting the Savior. Emmanuel, God with us. The Way, the Lamp unto my feet and Light unto my path, the One who is teaching me joy, peace, and purpose in the midst of my broken pieces of earth.
Once we have arrived, with answers in hand and pretty bows, we no longer feel the urgent need to abide in the rich nourishment and companionship of the Savior. And what a loss it would be to give up rich companionship with God because I ‘arrive’ and no longer find myself in need of the vine. I like it this way, the not-quite-arrived way. It is here that I have learned how to live alongside Christ—full and free.
If I have come to know anything new during this season of becoming, it is this: more often than not, we do not get the answers we want. It is in the midst of those less-than-perfect endings that my pastor’s question stands as a stark call to faith.
Can I live my story well even if ______doesn’t happen?
Happily-ever-after is overrated. The frayed pieces of dreams and unanswered prayers are reminders that sometimes things work themselves out the way that Jesus Himself did, in dirty barns, in darkness, on the run, and completely unbecoming.
Turns out, in the unbecoming moments, we are becoming.
Jenny Simmons, The Road to Becoming, pages 192-194, (Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group) © 2015 Used by permission.
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