Cleaning Out My Closet

Last week, I was asked to do something by my wife that needed to be done, but I dreaded doing. She asked me to clean out my closet. To be honest, it is a fairly simply process, but it meant I was going to be confronted with a reality I didn’t want to face. I was going to have to face this reality, I have changed. I knew that I had in my closet some shirts that I really like, have every intention of wearing, but also know that right now, wearing them may not be the best idea. And since, I am not wearing them at this present time, and in order to make room for what I do wear, I needed to get rid of them or put them in the clothing purgatory known as a tub downstairs. Again, let’s just be honest here, what goes into a tub downstairs, remains in a tub downstairs until it is donated. Therefore, I should just go ahead and cut out the middle stop of the tub, and give them to a Christian organization that our church partners with, the Agape Center. Why does any of this matter you ask?

It reminded me of this truth, change is inevitable, and in many instances it is good. I have to say, that is a tough sentence to type out. I am a routine guy. I am a planner. In fact, most of the time I have a plan for my plan. If you want to frazzle me, let my plan get messed with. At times, I think I remind myself (and Diana) of the “Don’t mess with my discount” lady on the new State Farm commercials, when it comes to my routine. However, change can be a good thing, and it certainly is an expected thing. After all, if we didn’t change, we would still be eating that nasty baby food in a jar. Praise God, we have teeth and better taste buds as we get older! When we were young, it was good, we even looked forward to it. However, as we got older and changed, we realized, why eat pureed chicken when you can grill up a nice filet mignon?

If you are a believer, not only can you expect change in your life, it is mandated by God. Romans 8:29 is where the apostle Paul writes, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” If I am going to become more like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is going to have to work in my heart and my life to change me, because on my own I will not become more like Jesus, and neither will you. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Change is inevitable, because my old self, that is ruled by sinful, selfish desires has died, and God has given me a new nature. There are many other verses we could look at to show the inevitability of change in our lives. Even creation teaches us that things change. Right now in Virginia, the heat is on and so is the humidity. For many, it has been oppressive for the last several days. However, the forecast starting tomorrow has a change coming. Right now we are in the middle of summer, but in a few months fall will be here, then winter, and then spring, and the cycle will continue. This is in part I believe why Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” in Ecclesiastes 3. So, I guess my advice to myself and to the rest of you who are like me is best summed up by a man named Flip Rodriguez. Flip is a contestant on one of my favorite shows, American Ninja Warrior. He wears a shirt that says, “be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” We may not like change, but we know who is in control of all things, God. And God doesn’t change (Heb. 13:8). So, yes our lives are going to change. Sometimes that change is going to be good, and sometimes it is going to be difficult. But no matter what, we can rest and trust in the never changing God. He has never failed us or left us, and He promises that He never will. Praise God for His faithfulness, grace, mercy, and presence in every day of our lives, and in every situation we find ourselves in.

Pastor Justin

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