What Now? - God's Answer

 God's Answers Series

Change isn't just difficult, although it certainly is. Change leads us into uncharted territory. It isn't just a new place, a new thing; it requires something new from us, too.

Change means that the old way of doing things no longer achieves the same results. The old path is closed and we must explore a new one. The song we sang yesterday doesn't have the same ring to it, so we must find another to hum along with until we learn the new words. The equipment that got the job done before is suddenly outdated and useless. Things don't look the same, sound the same or feel the same. Things especially don't feel the same.

Change isn't just an outside force that appears like new scenery in familiar territory. Instead, change requires change...from within. It calls for a new way of thinking, new terminology, different approaches, unfamiliar feelings, new conversations about heretofore unconsidered topics.

That's why changes, whether they be welcomed and anticipated or sudden and uninvited, induce stress and frustration, extreme emotions, weariness and uncertainty. Whether you've just welcomed a new baby into the family, moved across the country, taken a new job, lost a sweet loved one or begun pursuing a new dream, the change, embraced or unexpected, will eventually cause you to pause...look around at the unfamiliar territory you find yourself in...and wonder,

"What now?"

I'm so thankful that God answers even that little question--one that often doesn't make it past our lips in prayer, but simply wiggles around in the back of our minds because, after all, we ought to be able to figure this one out on our own. Right?

Blessedly, we don't have to figure anything out on our own, sweet sister. God has the answer, even to our unformed questions.

I think we find the answer here:

And you will make a new start, 
listening obediently to God
keeping all his commandments 
that I’m commanding you today. 
God, your God, 
will outdo himself in making things 
go well for you...
(Deuteronomy 30:8-9a, the Message)

and here:

Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. 
I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making 
a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.
(Isaiah 43:8-9, the Message)

If you're standing just on the other side of change today, in that awkward place between the old and the new, take courage, take heart. God hears your heart's ache, your mind's confusion, your soul's longing for the familiar, and even your spirit's desire to move on and conquer. There may be a cacophony of emotions ringing through your being right now, but God hears the essence of each note and knows how to bring the music of your life back into sweet submission again.

He simply instructs us to trust Him and obey, one step at a time. 

We're to walk forward, resisting the urges to look back with longing. Why? Because images in our rearview mirrors are often distorted and further out of our grasp than they appear.

We're to commit ourselves to the new start...whether that new start be parenting a newborn baby, learning an unfamiliar job, meeting new neighbors, investing in a different church, nesting in a home where our furniture doesn't fit quite the same, developing the discipline to conquer a new physical condition, or adjusting to the changes in our once familiar friend or family member. We're to commit to the new. Embrace. Plunge in. Take one step and then another and another.

We're to be alert and watch. Oh my! Do you realize that God always works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called by Him? That means that even though the change may appear unwelcomed and frightening right now, there is something good in it down the road. According to the passage in Isaiah, we don't want to miss it!

We're to expect good. Deuteronomy 30:9 promises that God will absolutely outdo Himself doing us good...if we'll just trust and obey.

So that was then...this is now. Yesterday has come and gone. And with it, something may have been lost...or gained. But today, this is the "what now." And it's going to be ok. God has a plan...it's good...and He's trustworthy.

What change have you experienced lately - good or negative - that has caused you pause? Meditate on these affirming scriptures and ask God that simple question, "What now?" I know He'll direct you...and it will be ok.

 God's Answers Series

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