Yellow, gold, and red leaves whipped across my windshield as I made my way down the highway to my painting class. Autumn is giving way to winter, I thought as I drove. I noticed two huge sycamore trees standing side by side like two wooden soldiers in the blustering wind. Oddly, one tree was brilliant yellow, the other was summer green. I wondered why. Why did two kindred trees, standing in the same place, with the same soil, having the same water source and the same measure of sunlight, appear so totally different in color? Surely they both experienced identical temperatures, be it daylight or night. Such mystery is the science of life–of change–of Autumn.
Christians are like that. We each have Jesus. We access the Heavenly Father through prayer. We have Bibles, and Sunday School, and even the same preacher who preaches the same sermon to each of us–week after week, month after month, year after year. Yet, we do not grow at the same pace, nor change to suit the desires of man. Why? We are each on an individual journey. We each face trials, discern solutions, and resolve things in ways as only we can. What one person does with information, guidance, and trials does not ensure another will do. Sometimes this frustrates us, we want to grow and change faster.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Each person has needs in life, and with each need comes a choice. Each choice brings about a specific result. Not all results are equal. The way you process information, may not be the way another processes it. We each move at our own pace. What God wants to change in me, may not be what you desire to see changed. What could take me year to change, may take another two days–or a month. Change comes from within, and Jesus is working on each of us, with our particular need in mind–with His particular purpose for our lives. The person I meet on the street is not the same as the one you meet. Thus the change needed in me to meet the purpose God has planned for another person I meet, may not be the change needed in you for the person in your life. We need not be frustrated with Christ’s timetable.
Sometimes we get impatient with others. We think they need to change. We think we need to change them–to fix them. We try to make them fit our little plan, our time constraints. How very silly we are. We can no more change a person than we can change the leaves on a sycamore tree. It’s best we stop trying to change others and yield ourselves to Christ, allowing Him to perfect in us as He sees fit.
PRAYER: Lord, give us patience to accept others as You do. Help us see others through Your eyes of patience, kindness and mercy. Let us surrender to You today and rest in Your hands as You work out in us the perfection of Your choosing. selahV