This year my daughter started the 5th grade! It’s unbelievable how fast time flies and how quickly the children of this generation are growing. I’m constantly reminded of how change is constant and inevitable, especially when I’m helping my child with her Math homework. This “New Math” is so confusing that I literally have to ask myself, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” (LOL!) But, the more things change, the more I delight in the things that stay the same.
About the second week of school my daughter came home excited about how her class had planted three red kidney beans inside of a cup. Well, I too was excited because this was something I also had the chance to do as child when I was in school. I remember how exciting it was to watch the bean sprout up and grow after a week or two. However, as the days passed, she would hop in the car when I’d pick her up from school and tell me about how her bean was not growing. Other beans in the classroom were growing, but her’s… not so much.
There was nothing being done differently to her bean; it was being cared for in the same manner as all of the other beans. It was in the same location in the class, getting the same amount of sunlight and getting the same amount of water, but for whatever reason it just wasn’t growing. In life, how disappointing is it when we see ourselves doing the same thing (or even more) as others, and we watch them as they grow and flourish in different areas of their lives? How frustrated and confused do we feel? And how impatient do we become with God, ready to throw all of our faith out the window because we’ve become stuck where we are, and have become so disappointed that we can’t see up from down or left from right?
Well, after a week or two of no visible growth, she brought her bean home. I expected her to throw the bean in the trash because that’s what I would’ve done (I haven’t mastered that patience thing just yet, LOL), but instead, she brought it home and placed it on the window ledge. Over the next couple of days she watered it, and still there was no progression. On the third day, my husband pointed out the fact that the bean was noticeably growing. That little bean had taken off and sprouted and continues to grow to this day.
Sometimes it’s the change that activates the growth. When she brought the bean home, we did nothing different to it than what was being done to it at school. The only difference was a change in its environment. Change, though difficult and complicated at times, can be very crucial to you entering into the season of growth that you desire, or that is needed in your life. The struggle in this is that many times change means leaving people, places or things you hold close to your heart behind, stepping away from your normal, or facing an overwhelming amount fear that can seem paralyzing. But, it’s important to realize that not everyone or everything is meant to go where God is taking you, and it’s possible that where you currently are is not the place where you’re meant to be. However, you can find comfort in the fact that wherever God is leading you is exactly where he needs you to be.
I’m not sure why her little bean was not growing, but what is evident is that the changing of its environment was imperative to its ability to grow. So I pose these questions to you: What within your environment is hindering you from growing beyond where you are? Is it sin? Is it the people in your life? Is it the limitations that you have placed on yourself? Is it the dead weight of past mistakes and failures? Is it regret? Is it tragedy? Whatever it is, it is time for you to let it go so that you can grow! It is time for change! Leave it behind and embrace whatever change God places before you.
This bean that seemed so insignificant turned out be a huge reminder of God’s amazing love and compassion for us.
- My daughter did not give up on that bean even though it was supplied with everything that it needed to successfully grow but didn’t, and even though many of the other beans were flourishing, she never gave up on it or walked away from it. God has equipped us with his Word and has blessed us with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and yet even with these, we still may sometimes fall short. And even though the 10 people around us may get it right while we do not, God does not turn away from us, but he continues to walk with us, guiding us until we do.
- My daughter moved her bean to a different environment and that’s when it experienced growth. What I know for sure is that many of us are not a fan of change. Our comfort zone is safe and it’s a space where we can feel secure. Most of the time it is predictable and we control (or feel as if we control) what goes on and we don’t have to face the vulnerability of the unknown. God is a comforter but he does not care about us being comfortable when it comes to molding and shaping us to do what he has called us to do. God will uproot you from a place you have been your entire life and plant you in a place you have never been before. God will bring change upon your life, both good and bad, if it will cause you to draw closer to him – because a relationship means more to him than our comfort zone means to us.
- God is committed to our change, our growth and our transformation. Even if our change occurs slowly or even if our change becomes stagnant at times, he still extends his grace to us until we get to where he needs us to be. He is not a God of unfinished business; what he starts, he will finish. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6
We all need change whether it is expected or unexpected. If we choose to seek God’s wisdom daily, we can more easily adapt to the changes in life. We must remember that the difficult situations in our lives can be used for God’s glory when we apply his wisdom and follow his instruction. Internal change brings about focus – seeking God to change our hearts, our minds, and our attitudes. External change helps to shape us – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2-4
Change is all a part of life. Be accepting of change, because it is God creating opportunities for growth in your life.