Bittersweet: The Process of Change

Life is filled with so many moments and so many different circumstances. One would like to choose fantastic days and pleasant circumstances to fill one’s days. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. Life is like nature: sunshine and warmth followed by wind and rain; then the dreaded winter season: freezing cold, snow, sleet and ice. It’s easy to handle any season in moderate amounts, but the extremes can be a challenge. Life sometimes brings the extreme to us as well. When we find ourselves in extreme situations, what can we do?

Romans 8:28 NLT says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” When you reflect on that verse, you are tempted to ask, “How can that be, God?” But God is firm. That statement holds true for everyone. We all find ourselves in the bittersweet experiences of life.

I have experienced those bittersweet moments. There are no complains that the good times are lingering on. The attitude is “Let the good times roll.” Suddenly, there is a shift in the wind, and as in nature our season has changed. I have been blindsided by the wind of change in my life. I remember one particular wind that was so fierce, it knocked me over. I lost my bearings and my sense of purpose.

I did ask God why. Why did You allow that fierce wind to knock me over and leave me flat on the ground? I tried to get up but it seemed that the wind grew hands pushing me to the ground. I had to stay flat for a while.  In those moments, God had my attention. When I read Romans 8:28, the tears began to flow. It was hard to embrace that verse in my current position. Is there a benefit when my face is flat on the ground? However, I had to embrace, that all things will work out for my good. I had to acknowledge God’s intervention in that painful season of my life. 

There was a desire and a yearning for the wind of change to signal that my season had come to an end. But I had to face another verse, before I could expect change in my situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Through the tears I had to say yes. I will give thanks although my face is pressed to the ground. 

In those moments, I began to see signs that signaled the wind of change. Not the external change of my posture, because I was still pressed to the ground, but change began on the inside. God began to work on me and bring change in me from the inside out. I learned how to depend on Him, as I spent more time in prayer and in the Word of God. 

I’m not back on my feet but my face is not pressed to the ground. You see in our fast paced, microwave life, we expect God to work at microwave speed. He does not. He takes the time to perfect the job in us. James 1:2-3 NKJV says it this way, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Patience is not French Fries at a fast food restaurant. Patience is the turkey in the oven at Thanksgiving. It takes hours in the oven, but, you leave it alone because it’s necessary to get the results you desire. It is the same way with God, He leaves us in the oven of unpleasant circumstances to get the results He desires in us.

So when the wind of change blows into your life, be encouraged. God has a plan for you. Yes, you might find yourself pinned to the ground as God works on you and polishes you to a shine. Remember, people only polish the items they consider valuable. In the end, it will work for your good.

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