I hate change. Always have, probably always will. I know I’m not alone in this. Unfortunately for people like me, life is full of change. Even small things like last year when my parents changed my room from the “little girls’ haven” it had been for 25 years to a sophisticated “adult looking room,” I had a hard time. My heart did some aching through that transition. Last year being a long term maternity substitute and having to say goodbye every 6-12 weeks to yet another group of students and start over again was exhausting. But I’m realizing why even small changes can be challenging and take time to move through. Change always involves loss, and loss always involves a death of some kind.
I can’t imagine having to go through loss without Jesus. I honestly don’t know how people do it. Because the beautiful thing about knowing Jesus is that any time I go through a season of pain and grief, there is purpose. I’ve walked with Him a long time and I can honestly say that I have never experienced Him quite like I have over the past few months. When I experienced the death of something and hurt so badly I didn’t know how to keep going, that’s when I truly found myself for the first time on my face at the feet of Jesus. Where else could I go? And yet, God uses our shattered heart experiences to grow us in ways we never would have experienced without it. We don’t experience God like that until we truly need a miracle done in our lives. I wish we could experience this without the deep pain that jump starts the process, but I can honestly say in my life, it wouldn’t have come any other way. It had to happen.
So where does the beauty come in? Well….I can’t say I have fully experienced it yet…oh how it can be a long process….however, I can say God has begun to show me through His precious Word what He desires to do with this death I experienced. In the story of Lazarus in John 11 Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…” you see what I’ve learned is that my death is an opportunity for Jesus to raise me from the dead. My death = Jesus’ resurrection in me. I could try to explain this, but no one will say it better than my friend Beth Moore in her Breaking Free study.
“When our hearts have been shattered by loss, we have the opportunity to welcome a supernatural power to our lives. It doesn’t come any other way. That is the power to live again when we’d really rather die. It is the power that displays the life of Christ in us like no other because it defies all odds. God becomes the only explanation for our emotional survival and revival. Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something we thought would kill us. And not just living, but living abundantly and effectively–raised from living death to new life. A life indeed absent of something or someone dear but filled with the presence of the resurrection and the life.”
I’ve never before been able to understand Paul when he says “Indeed I count everything as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that come from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and may share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…” ~Philippians 3
But I am now starting to experience it. I am gaining so many things through this season. I am experiencing Jesus more deeply than ever, I am gaining much more compassion for people–there are soooooo many hurting people in this world…who am I to be untouched by pain as well? I am gaining wisdom. My life is more productive and effective in bringing glory to my Savior. God is producing endurance, character, hope, and faith.
I end with a song that has been so dear to my heart throughout this season. As I continue to walk through this process, I pray that God will fully raise me from the dead to the glory of His marvelous name! I fully believe He will.