Had you asked me a few months ago how I rate my ability to handle change on a scale of one to ten…’A ten of course’! Would’ve been my confident response. Yes! A solid ten…adaptability is one of my super strengths! Ask me again now, I would proudly give you a one, I say ‘proudly’ because these last few months (where change has felt like the only constant in my life) have taught me that complete reliance on God and his goodness means; where I am feeling like a one at something, I am actually at my strongest because in my weakness his strength is made perfect! Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:8-10] (NKJV) When my (then boyfriend) now husband told me he felt called back to Zimbabwe, his home country, there wasn’t any conflict or doubt in my heart that God was calling us there. Our prayers during the preparation period before relocating weren’t about asking God IF this was his will but WHEN the time would be right, and what His plan would be for us once we got there. The day our bus arrived in Zimbabwe wasn’t so difficult. As months passed, I adjusted to the crazy economy, prices for basic things doubling overnight, multiple currencies I couldn’t decipher, the frequent power cuts and the gaping social-life-void after leaving South Africa.
The difficult day arrived with a little stick, two lines and a baby. Being an incredibly detailed planner (knowing all the details) makes my brain drool, so I never expected a surprise pregnancy, and that only TWO MONTHS after relocating! Honestly, the first emotion that filled me was not joy but fear.
For the first time I was very aware of how this teeny human would need so much from us that I was uncertain we could provide. Our jobs (which God had miraculously provided) barely made enough to cover expenses and as I mentioned earlier, these expenses changed from month to month, our church life was still adjusting, we were still trying to find our feet, and figure out where God wanted us to be. We couldn’t afford to rent and had to stay with relatives. Every time I got a little excited about the new chapter we were about to embark on, fear would rob me of the joy and remind me of everything we lacked. A turning point came when I read Proverbs 29:26 [NKJV] “Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord”
Like a hammer to my heart, God asked me where I was seeking justice! I had become obsessed with counting our meager savings (I would count the notes daily) and not a day passed when I didn’t complain about how we were barely coping financially. It was then that God squarely challenged me. I had become so preoccupied with relying on what I viewed as a supreme source of security…money; I had forgotten that my security needed ultimately to rest in God and his call on our lives. When Queen Esther was faced with a situation that was going to bring incredible change to her world, her first point of call before requesting an audience with the ruler was to first seek an audience with THE ruler. How I wish this response would become the natural response for all of us when we go through a period of transition.
One thing that can make it difficult to let go and trust God completely during the process of change is thinking that the ground beneath our feet is solid. When we grow weary of keeping our eyes raised towards our King, we lose our focus. It’s easy then to place our trust in the mirage of earthly things because that’s where our gaze has fallen.
I doubt I have learnt how to deal with change as graciously or as wisely as Queen Esther did, but I am certainly finding myself in a place where God is my solid foundation. And it’s my favorite place to be!