(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 14 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore, we ask, if you feel like it, to please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift some one's spirits!)
When I saw the title, Believing It’s Not Over Till It’s Over, my impression was that this chapter would encourage me to persevere, especially in adversity. While this is true, it was my intense dislike of change that it really spoke to. This chapter really reminded me why it is important to learn to embrace this as a part of God’s will.
In chapter 14, Stormie gives some great examples from the Bible of how we can never outlive our “usefulness” in God’s eyes. She reminds us of Noah, Moses, Abraham and Sarah. God used them in the later years of their lives, long after any of them could have imagined that they would accomplish their greatest life’s work. I think that Stormie emphasizes this so that we don’t count ourselves out because of any condition that could limit us. In God’s eyes, there are no obstacles to what He will accomplish through our lives. I first thought about it in terms of our role as a caregiver: how the stress, responsibility, exhaustion and overwhelming obstacles can so easily discourage us from believing that He will accomplish something great in our lives. Then I thought about this in terms of our children. God does not view their needs and challenges as being at all limiting to their potential. As easy as it is to be discouraged by our obstacles, God does not see any potential “limits” in any of His children and will triumph in all of us if we stay in faith and trust in Him. I love that He uses the most unlikely people to accomplish the most amazing things.
Another important point that Stormie made in Believing It’s Not Over Till It’s Over is that our resistance to change can keep us from realizing that God is moving in our lives for a reason. Stormie states, “We are such creatures of habit and so resistant to change that God sometimes has to shut off the way things were in our lives so He can bring us into the way He wants us to be.” (p.122) She gives an example of how difficult it was for her and her husband to move to a different part of the country at age fifty. Even though she knew that God was leading her family to do this, she still felt like it was physically more than she could handle. Stormie later learned that their California home had been destroyed in an earthquake shortly after they moved away. He further protected others from being killed or injured by keeping the house from selling. Stormie and her family were blessed with opportunities in Tennessee that would never have been possible if they had stayed in California.
I have always had a hard time with change. I do like the “idea” of change and exciting new possibilities but have often found the actual adjustment to be difficult and exhausting. From changing jobs, moving to different states, making new friends, changing from a professional to a stay-at-home-mom, to learning a new life with a special needs child, major life change has proven to be a lot harder than I could have anticipated at times. Stormie reminds us that change is necessary for us to continue on the path God has for our lives. She gives us this piece of valuable advice: If life as you have known it and the path you have walked seem to be ending, draw especially close to God and He will reveal what your next step is to be. (p.125) I do still have a hard time with embracing major changes, but can now see how God uses it to do great things. So many times my first impulse when facing a difficult change is to try and stop it from happening. How futile it is to try and delay the will of God! It is freeing to realize that my life can be so much easier if I go with the flow of what God is doing in my life and don’t fight it. God has continually proven time and time again that He is in control and has my family’s lives in the palm of His hands. I want to be more available to what God is doing in my life by not using my valuable energy trying to delay or fight change. I want to embrace the will of God in my life and allow him to work through me in all that I do. I realize now that the only way this is at all possible is not on my own strength, but by trusting and leaning on Him completely to give me the strength, patience and wisdom that I need each and every day.
This chapter reminded me of a song by Brandon Heath, “Wait and See” (He’s not finished with me yet). Here’s a link on Youtube with a great slideshow to go with it:
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
-1 Corinthians 1:27
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”