Among the many enjoyable and fun filled activities of Autumn, watching the stunning foliage changes captivates me every year. Almost as soon as September arrives, I eagerly anticipate the miraculous transformation, which seems to happen overnight. As I thought about my restlessness in waiting for Autumn’s gift of color, God reminded me how often I am impatient for change in my own life.
Often, becoming impatient for change in long standing situations results in our missing the bigger plan God is weaving into our lives.
While change, unexpected or anticipated fills many with trepidation or simple annoyance at disturbing the status quo, at times, we impatiently petition God for a desired change.
Growing weary with the hard paths, chronic issues, or emptiness of our lives, we begin a relentless pursuit for change.
When Will Things Change?
Living with more than one hard and frustrating situation, has often moved me to a posture impatient for change. “When will things change?” brings a whine to my prayers and a sense of apathy to my days.
One particular situation spans years.
God continues His loving comfort through the assurance of His promises and His faithful Presence in the situation.
Yet, my focus on having the change I desire, blinds me to the bigger story God writes in the blank space of my wait.
The book of Acts shares a peek into the disciples’ own struggle when they, too, were impatient for change.
“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
As Jesus explains His plan for the disciples after His resurrection, before leaving them to ascend to heaven, the disciples are impatient for the change they expected.
After living under lengthy Roman oppression, desperately clinging to Old Testament promises of the Messiah and his coming kingdom, was now the time for Jesus’ earthly rule to become a reality?
Change is Bigger than You
Jesus reminds His disciples the time when the Father would set up Jesus’ earthly kingdom was not for them to know. Change indeed was coming, and God intended to use them as agents of change throughout the world.
Because the coming change and kingdom encompassed more than Israel. The change God works in our lives spans more than our myopic worlds.
Even in our most personal situations in need of desperate change, God is working together something far bigger than we see.
So, when we become impatient for change, instead of asking, “When will things change?”, let us ask instead, “God, what is the bigger picture I am not seeing? What is your plan for me here?”
Perhaps in the face of impatience in our current situations a shift to surrendered trust in God’s plans and guidance offers the real change we so desperately need.
“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you…Teach me to do your will for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”
Psalm 143:8,10 (NLT)
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