Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reconstruction Of The Heart

Here in Missouri we have a lot of reconstruction taking place on our highways. For those who travel these familiar roads, it can be a difficult adjustment. Many try to divert these pathways and steer clear. Some don't pay attention to the construction signs that say, slow down or detour.  It takes time and it causes change in all those who travel this route. I suppose the outcome is all a matter of choice.  The outcome is better roads, safer roads and an easier route without so much congestion.

God's reconstruction isn't always how we would map out the blueprints. We tend to sit back and ponder the details not fully seeing the entire pathway. If we are honest, most of the time, we are searching for an easier route for us to ride. We don't enjoy bumpy roads and this girl sure doesn't like curves I'm not ready for. I am one to get car sick. But what if we looked at reconstruction as a whole?

I have become a girl of change. I love change. I'm ready for change. As long as it's my kind of change. It should be easy change, right? Well, I don't think the Lord sees it that way. He wants us to be motivated for change and prepared for the journey. It wants us to have hope in His design, not complaining, but boldly saying, we are ready for whatever is to come.

Have you ever changed your furniture around? I do this a lot. I mean, a lot. So much so that when my husband would return home from a trip he would carefully maneuver through the living room. He got use to bumping into things and had enough toe run ins with the legs of our couch that he soon learned to be aware that things may have changed. So instead of running full speed ahead, he slowed down and took his time. Hmm..this is something we are not akin to, are we? Change is okay as long as it doesn't affect us. Friends, change affects everyone. Change is a like a ripple in the water. It reaches everyone. For this reason, it is so important for us to follow the leadership of the Lord. For too long I traveled about on my own, thinking this "Fixer" knew what was right for all those I loved. Pretty soon, I felt the nudging of the Lord. Okay, maybe not a nudge, but a shove to get me out of the way. He didn't need me arguing with Him about what was right and what should happen.

Sometimes the road long is the road that helps us see the clearest. Of course, the best route is to totally follow the Lord, but stubborn people like us don't often take that route. God is prepared for that. He knows us better than anyone else. When we turn left instead of right, He sees. He's prepared and He is ready to steer us back to the right path. He will place roadblocks, detours and many stop signs to grab our attention.

A few years ago I had thyroid surgery. My entire thyroid was removed, leaving me with a scar. Going into to surgery, the surgeon was prepared for anything. My thyroid and my goiter had grown backwards and wrapped around my windpipe. What should have taken forty-five minutes took three hours. This left me with a scar and a life time of medication. I wasn't prepared for my scar or the year long journey back to health. But the Lord was prepared. He had foreseen my surgery and He knew every last detail. He knew that year of reconstruction in my health was going to get my body back to where it should be. A healthy state. But in order to get there I had to travel a road that was not a bucket of laughter. He was long and hard. At times it was scary, but you know what? I made it. My faith grew and I learned to live with the scar that would remain forever. When people see my scar, I now I have a story to share with them. Not just any story, but a story of miracles (That will come later) and one of healing with the reconstruction of my Savior.

We often think change is devastating. We go through much in life, don't we? Things unexpected. But friends, God uses those unexpected journeys to bring about possibilities to share His goodness and glory. If everything was expected and went the way we think it should, would we really call upon the Lord? Would we really seek Him? I think that may be an answer we are not ready to own.

Over the years my husband has been laid off from time to time. The longest was for three years. God has prepared us. We knew what to expect, but not three years of change. I can tell you, theses three years changed our lives. We grew in faith. Our marriage grew. We became closer than ever. We witnessed God do things in our life that we could have never imagined. Although this time of reconstruction was a difficult road, I saw my husband grow into the man God was creating him to be. He grew to depend on the Lord more and more. Our lives became a witness of what God can do when all seems hopeless. Friends, there is always hope. Hope remains.

We have recently been visiting other churches. This is a huge change for us after attending the same church for twenty years. This is the only church I have ever known. It's been home. God grew me in this church. So, as we visit other churches each Sunday, God is reconstructing our hearts. Although this change is uncomfortable, God is doing a work in my heart. I'm learning more. I'm seeing new ways in which to worship. God is introducing new people in my life and bringing me to a new place in my worship.

See, the thing is, we are all a work in progress. Reconstruction is always taking place in our lives. God know the outcome. He knows what He is wanting to create in us. He has given us every tool we need for the journey. It's our choice whether we look to Him for the pathways or if we step out on our own. When I follow Him I feel it in my heart. I know I am right where He is calling me to be. When I travel out on my own I soon know I'm in the wrong place. When I look to the Lord for the pathway back to Him, He is quick to guide me and bring me back.

This month I will turn forty-six. I've never really feared getting older, but for women, body change is a difficult process to swallow. I mean, cellulite enters our life and okay, just where does that come from and why don't men struggle with this? Okay, back on subject..I like being forty-five. It's like the cool age and most of all, I really like myself. I'm growing into the girl God has created me to be. I'm not that same girl I was at twenty-two. He has done a lot of reconstruction in my life. Some I didn't quite understand at the time, but as I grow into who I am to be, I'm able to see just what He had in mind. It all comes together in His perfect plan for our lives. Which is to bring glory and honor to Him.

So friends, don't fear change. Allow God to reconstruct your lives. Prepare yourself by digging deep into His Word and walking with Him. The more time we spend with Him the more we get to know Him. By the way, the more I know of Him, the more I learn of myself.

Don't become stagnant in your walk. Don't just settle for what is, but see what God has in store for you. It might not look like a blessing at the time, but believe me, He is in the blessing business. Give Him your path and trust Him for the journey. Change the heart, change the man.

"Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:22-24

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

"This is why we never give up. Through our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me." Jeremiah 29:11-12

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