Progress Can Get Messy

Progress Can Get Messy

Progress can be a two-edged sword. On one hand it’s wonderful because it brings us closer to our goals, but on the other hand the change it entails can make us feel uncomfortable, destabilized, insecure. We want the benefits, but we wish we could skip the difficult transition phase. That would be nice, but it’s not realistic.

It’s human nature to resist change, but we can override that impulse; we can each choose to be a change proponent.

One tip for riding the wave of change is to not brace yourself against it, expecting the worst. A surfer doesn’t hold up his surfboard to try to stop the wave. Instead, before the wave reaches him, he starts paddling in the same direction the wave is moving, so when the wave does reach him, he is swept along by it. He trusts the wave to lift and carry him, and that trust transforms the experience into an exhilarating one.

During any time of change, it’s vitalto hold on to God’s unfailing, all-knowing love. Remind yourself that He is in control and that He has your best interests at heart. No matter what’s happened in the past or what may happen in the future, God is your constant.1 He is your heavenly shepherd,2 and He will not lead you astray or into harm’s way.3 His love for you will never diminish.4 His strength and power will never wane.5

When you have the assurance of that kind of power behind you, you can approach life’s ups and downs positively. When you have the promise “All things work together for good to those who love God,”6 you think in terms of possibilities rather than problems. What new opportunities does this change open up? How can God help you turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one? That’s what is known as expectant faith.

That kind of faith comes from spending time with Jesus, reading His Word, sharing your heart with Him, letting Him speak to you, and praising Him for His goodness. But if you get too wrapped up in trying to figure things out on your own, or if you neglect the needs of your spirit, you’re not going to have the faith you need in times of change. Make some time for God every day, and keep that time sacred. Through your times of personal communion with Him, He will strengthen and renew your spirit.7 Then you’ll be ready for anything, because you’ll have the assurance that God is going to see you through.

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One of life’s paradoxes is that we want things to get better, but we don’t want them to change.—David Brandt Berg

1. Malachi 3:6
2. Psalm 23:1
3. Jeremiah 29:11
4. Jeremiah 31:3
5. Jude 25
6. Romans 8:28
7. Isaiah 40:31

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Maria Fontaine

Maria Fontaine

Maria Fontaine is the spiritual and administrative co-director (along with her husband, Peter Amsterdam) of the Family International, a Christian community of faith dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. She is the author of numerous articles on the Christian faith life. (Articles by Maria Fontaine used in Activated are adapted.)

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