Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Change for Christmas

I am not so good with change. In fact, I hate it. Once there is a plan set, I get pretty cranky when it's rearranged. Call me a control freak or perhaps I'm just struggling with a mild case of OCD, but I do NOT like change.

Over the years I've had to let go of "traditions" that I've had. But not without throwing a tantrum first. I know, I'm being brutally honest here, but...well...it's true. We don't see our families as much and this is probably one of the hardest things for both Amy and me.

What prompted me to write this? Well. I just finished reading a blog post by one of our good friends as she described how she missed her grandma at this year's Thanksgiving. Her story opened up something within me that I don't think I realized was there before. In fact, it opened up a window of emotion and quickly the tears started to flow.

I, too, miss a grandmother. She was my great grandmother, Renabelle Lichty. Seven years ago September she went home to be with God. But she was and still is a very special lady in many of the lives of my family. And you know what? I hate this change. I want her here with us. I miss the twinkling eyes, the beaming smile and especially the squeezing hugs. I long to see her once again at our family holidays.

This kind of change is so hard to accept. The kind that forces you to adjust to the hole in the family pictures. The kind that causes you to tear up when you realize that the dish they always made isn't there. Or when you see the blue chair that she used to sit in once is now empty.

And then there's the change that comes as your kids grow up. They are small only for a short time. We decided that our little girl would be our last. Every "milestone" that she hits is so bittersweet. She is very close to crawling now. She has started to get passed the cooing and is now speaking "ba ba ba ba." And again it becomes a change I don't like.

I'm sure there are some that would tell me to "just get over it." I also realize that I'm not the only one to experience this. Perhaps there are many more changes in your life that you wish would never happen. Maybe you agree with all these thoughts.

There is something new I've been learning about change though. It's taken me down the road of learning about who I am and what makes me struggle in this area. Because if you know anything about Jesus Christ and what He does for your life, you know that there is a change that is required. And there are many times when I just don't want to give into it. I am clearly a stubborn individual. I bet at least three of you just laughed out loud in agreement.

Let me make it clear, however, that His change is always for the good.  Always.

I am allowing more of me to die so that I may be able to accept more of His change.  The change that involves molding and softening the hardened pieces of my heart.

And it's because of this that I'm thankful He decided to become flesh in that stable in Bethlehem so long ago. Jesus Christ came to give us not just a plain old change, but a total transformation! Listen folks that's better than any extreme makeover any day.  There is reshaping involved. There is restoring involved. There is also restitution involved.  But Jesus Christ willingly paid this price.  The Bible says in Romans, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternally life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."  What a gift!

This Christmas, I will eagerly embrace the changes that God has for me and my life. Because there is a Hope that will "not disappoint." (Romans 5:3-5)

Will you accept them too?  Do you still hold onto things in your life that you know God is asking you to change for Him?  What about those "traditions?"  Have you placed them above Christ?

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  - Isaiah 9:6

Originally published on Dec 2, 2010 at www.chrisrayment.com

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