Finding Joy in Change
2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Facing change is a necessary part of life. Every day things change all around us. From the weather to the seasons to our personal circumstances and environments, the inevitable takes place. And we must all adapt to this natural ebb and flow. While these transitions may sometimes bring feelings of sadness, there are other times when we can find joy in change.
Change Can be a Time of Sadness and Loss
Recently I have entered a major season of change. Not only have my children left home, leaving me to feather an empty nest, but other unexpected changes have occurred too. In the past year two of our long time neighbors have sold their homes. Driving by these familiar houses daily brings a touch of sadness stemming from the changes in our neighborhood.
Also, our beloved dentist who has cared for our teeth for close to thirty years – and Dad’s for over forty – has retired. We are now left to find another to take his place. Two large family businesses in the area that we have patronized closed their doors. A family member has died, a pastor moved on, and a number of parents we’ve developed relationships with at school functions have chosen to move away now that their kids have graduated. These changes and more have produced deep emotions as I ponder the losses.
Finding Joy in Change
But change doesn’t always create melancholy. Sometimes change is a reason to rejoice. Those who believe in Jesus and become part of His family begin a journey of transformation that lasts for a lifetime. God, who slowly transforms us into the image of His Son, brings about these changes. As we peer into the mirror of His Word and behold the glory of the Lord, the Holy Spirit renews our heart and minds. We begin to love the things the Lord loves, and our actions and attitudes respond accordingly. The old us fades away and the new us rises to the surface. This process of intently gazing on Jesus through the Word reproduces His image within us.
Over time those closest to us will observe the changes. A nasty temper gives way to patience and understanding. A covetous nature becomes more content. A bitter heart melts into joyfulness. An angry spirit is revived by forgiveness. These character shifts and more reveal the positive changes the Holy Spirit is making in our lives.
Focus on Personal Changes that Last for Eternity
So while you and I will regularly face the ebb and flow of sentimental changes in our life’s journey, we do not need to sink into despair. Instead of focusing on the temporal fluctuations in our everyday experience, pray for the Holy Spirit to bring about the personal changes that will last for eternity. Preoccupy yourself with the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and little by little you will be transformed into His very image. Those changes are ones in which we can all rejoice.