When my son was a baby, I gave away his infant swing because he hated it. He was the fourth baby in our line of babies to swing in that very same swing. Others had loved it, just not him. So I gave the swing away and saved space in our living room. It was a win-win.
Now here we are five years later and this same kid spent at least 30 minutes swinging non-stop at the playground today. He shooed me away when I tried to push him because, “I know how to pump my legs all by myself now, mom.
So, I sat on the nearby bench in the shade and watched as he lifted himself higher and higher.
This is the same boy.
Sometimes you don’t really catch all the signs that your kids are growing up . Then there’s a moment when you’re sitting on a wooden bench alongside a playground and it hits you all at once: How big he really is. How he’s about to start kindergarten. How he’s changed so much.
And that’s the thing that I’ve been weighing this afternoon, the changing. A former baby-swing-hater now loves to swing.
I’ve had changes all around me in the past year or two, and I have changes before me in this next year once again.
A “baby” starting kindergarten. My oldest starting high school. A brand new season where, for the first time in 15 years, I don’t have a little one at home with me.
I do not love change. I do not seek it out and I do not enjoy it. I push against change all the time, clinging tight-fisted to whatever reality I know in fear of whatever is unknown.
But here I am in a season of change, a long season of frequent and significant changes at that.
So I wonder as I watch my son swinging away today whether God wants to do more than just transition and transform the environment around me. Could it be that He wants to do the same work of transition and transformation inside me?
What can He change within me that maybe I’ve thought could never change? A habit? A weakness? A stubbornness? A sinful attitude? A prejudice or judgment? A fear?
When the Old Testament prophet, Samuel, poured anointing oil over a man named Saul and announced he would be the first king of Israel, it wasn’t because Saul was already equipped for the job. Scripture says:
Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day (1 Samuel 10:9 NASB).
God changed Saul’s heart in that very moment.
Not that Saul was perfect, mind you. Far from it. We know his failures as a king and spiritual leader of Israel.
Still, in that moment, God changed Saul’s heart because God had a plan for Saul.
What if I offered up my heart for the Spirit’s work, invited the Lord to do the renovation that needs to be done?
Joy where there is not joy. Peace where there is fear. Love for others who are hard to love. Humility in the places pride has dug down deep. Compassion in hard ground. Repentance when my heart hasn’t been soft enough to see the sin.
Change my heart, Lord. Change my mind and thought processes and attitudes so that I reflect your heart and your mind.
My struggle sometimes is that I don’t want change. Other times my struggle is that I long for something to give way and change, but change feels impossible. Stuck. Hopeless.
Warren Wiersbe reminds us that:
God is not limited by the past. No matter how many disappointments and failures we may have had in the past, when Jesus Christ comes on the scene, everything has to change….Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things! God can forgive sin and put new power into lives that seem to be utter failures. God can send revival to a church that everybody thinks is dead. God can move into a difficult situation and turn seeming failure into victory. God makes the difference!” (The Bumps are What You Climb On).
Christ’s presence means everything has to change.
So I settle my heart, I yield, I invite Him in and I invite Him to make Himself at home. May He change what needs to be changed in my life, in my circumstances, in my relationships, and in my heart and mind.