There is no better example of a brand new creation-miracle than a newborn baby. Not only is this little person cute and cuddly, it is also delicate and vulnerable, fully dependent on an external support system for survival. From the moment of conception this little one begins to experience change through an amazingly intricate and continuing process of becoming someone who is similar, yet very unique, within the human family.
When my wife and I had our first child we were no different than most new parents, we were excited and proud and very anxious to see our son move through all the various phases of development. We were ecstatic when he began to recognize us, and our hearts melted at his first smile.
With every new thing he did we celebrated his “grand accomplishments.” We even allowed ourselves to think that our little one was the first baby to ever achieve what we later came to understand were very normal milestones of development. He was doing what babies do, and experiencing such a normal process of a child’s growth brought his parents much joy and happiness.
"Growth is a very natural phenomenon. It was God’s idea in the first place and He created every living thing with a plan for growth."
Changes come along in a variety of ways. Sometimes changes that we experience have a very dramatic effect on us, and sometimes we may not even be aware of some of the ways that we change. There are at least three different types of changes that we will likely encounter during our lifetime.There are changes like those that a baby experiences in the process of its growth and development.
These changes are really the result of the Creator’s plan and have been programmed into each cell; they occur without any conscious input. These physical changes continue throughout our lives and can even be confirmed in the mirror as we see the effects of growing older.
Another type of change occurs when something out of our control happens to us. Experiencing a personal accident with lasting physical or emotional injuries or perhaps the loss of someone close to us either through death, or a broken relationship, can impact us deeply. These changes can be so profound that they cause a lasting effect on the way we experience our lives. We may even wrestle with very difficult options in our attempts to relate to these situations in a way that allows us to be able to move on with life.
The third type of change is one in which we exercise a conscious choice. This can be initiated by deciding that we want to pursue a different course of action that will lead to a better situation or outcome. We can also experience this type of change when we choose to respond to an event that we didn’t initiate in a way that brings about growth and improvement.
We have all experienced countless changes over the years and we are certainly living examples of how these changes have impacted us. It has been said that change is one of the constant factors of life. Change is all around us.
People change, seasons change, there are employment changes, geographical changes and relationship changes, just to suggest a few examples. We may even choose to make these changes, and although we can’t always control what happens, we can choose to be intentional in how we respond. We can just let life happen to us, or we can decide to take the situations we experience and use them to become everything that we were created to be. We can choose to grow in, and through, the experiences of life.
Growth is a very natural phenomenon. It was God’s idea in the first place, and He created every living thing with a plan for growth. Growth is really evidence that there is a degree of health, and we understand that healthy organisms grow. Jesus taught His listeners that seeds grow into plants, plants grow to maturity and then they produce fruit. That is the way the Creator meant it to be from the beginning. And, as God’s people, we have been called to grow in grace and to increase in faith. We are to grow up into Jesus and to become spiritually mature and bear fruit with our lives.
We will experience changes for as long as we live; some of them will be greater than others. However, it would be a really good thing for us to make a conscious decision that we will evaluate the situations and circumstances that we face and then pray for wisdom to grow as a result of these changes. As we do, we will see that our relationship with God is growing. Our relationship will be growing as well.
May God bless us all in this new year. May it be a time for growth as we keep our eyes on Jesus. May we also grow in His grace and then share the fruit that He produces in us with each other.
By Phil Robertson. Robertson is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, with his family.