HEALTHY things grow, GROWING things change,
CHANGE challenges us,
CHALLENGE causes us to put our trust in God,
TRUST breeds obedience, & OBEDIENCE makes us HEALTHY
~Bishop Sherwood Carthen
I hate change. Just so we’re clear on that right up front.
Change is the last thing I ever want to walk out. It rattles me. I like normal, boring consistency. I drive the same way to places, eat the same things daily; you can pretty much know where I am at all times – I’m like clockwork. I am my father’s daughter, after all.
So where am I right now? Ya, you guessed it, right smack in the middle of a BIG one – a complete and utter shift in my normal. Joining along for the ride is my husband and son. We’ve moved, lock stock and barrel. Sold off stuff, dumped the chaff, all to make ready for a new season, one that’s a bit in flux ‘on purpose’ at this moment, but will eventually bring the growth we have believed for and a resting place at the end.
HEALTHY things grow
When a seed is planted deep in the soil, it goes through multiple changes in the growing process, softening the hard outer shell until it bursts open revealing a little green sprout. Up and up and up it grows until it pushes through the soil into the fresh air and sunshine. This is only the first part of growth. Pretty soon it’s too big for the pot, so what’s next?
Sometimes the little plant is moved to an even bigger pot, or a beautifully cultivated hole in a garden, with plenty of room to spread out its roots down into the earth, anchored deep.
With each move, there’s always a challenge to the roots. Will they survive the upheaval as you cast off the old caked on dirt, freeing them up to stretch and grow more? Will they thrive in the new place, growing even longer, thicker…better?
That’s the question.
GROWING things CHANGE and CHALLENGE
Life changing moves aren’t unusual in the grand scheme of things. Even in the Bible there were many great examples of life altering change; let’s see there’s Abram and Sarai, Jacob, Leah and Rachel, Ruth and Naomi, just to name a few. Even the disciples left it all they had to follow Jesus with just a few words “come…I will make you fishers of men.”
Challenging times are plain uncomfortable and exhausting as the old is cast off to make ready for the new. Is that how Sarai felt, or Leah, Rachel and even Ruth after leaving it all, ALL they held dear and their own ‘normal?’
CHALLENGE causes us to put our trust in God
All these ladies left what they knew, without any answers to their many questions… (You know they asked questions, right?? Wouldn’t you? I mean really…they’re women!) Sarai hadn’t become Sarah, no ‘promised’ child on the way, Leah and Rachel had to run away in the middle of the night from their father, and a home they’ve always known, Ruth also left her birth home after experiencing the great loss of her husband, brother and father-in-law, to follow her mother-in-law to a totally foreign land with nothing left, basically destitute.
I’d say each one had to do a lot of TRUSTING. Will that next landing place hold the answers, bring fulfillment so that new roots can be planted, bringing GROWTH?
TRUST breeds obedience & OBEDIENCE makes us HEALTHY
They all had another key ingredient, OBEDIENCE. Each one said yes, I’ll go, questions and all. One with a bit of a laugh thinking, could this be true? Some stealing a bit of their heritage to bring along, while the last in pure and utter desperate faith said, “Your people will be my people, your God will be my God.”
Their obedience brought completion, restoration, children and more children, husbands, lands, goods, provision, success, and in the case of Ruth, a heritage leading to the one and only son of David, Christ the Messiah.
A pretty healthy lot, I’d say.
I’m in good company. I did say yes (…to be honest, that yes was after a lot of pulling and pushing out roots of fear with trembling hands) to leaving it all, taking a journey to a land I know not of…at least at this moment in time.
Two things I do know and these never change, GOD IS GOOD and JESUS LOVES ME, so I’m riding it out, holding on as tight as I can to the Hand that can part the waters, heal with a touch, uplift the pit dwellers, and wipe away my tears…and fears.
I can do this.
Abram & Sarai ~ Genesis 12-21:8
Jacob, Rachel & Leah ~ Genesis 29-31
Naomi & Ruth ~ Book of Ruth