Friday, August 18, 2017

Suddenly, like a mighty, rushing wind

A lot of people are asking, “Why all of a sudden?”

Why “all of sudden” are certain statues a problem? Why “all of sudden” is the Confederate flag a bad thing? Why “all of a sudden” are things not staying the way they were? Why “all of a sudden” do I need to change my thinking?

Perhaps it's like the process of sanctification.

When we become Christians, everything that needs to doesn't fall away at once. Over time, as the Holy Spirit repeatedly nudges us and, when we finally accede and acknowledge the problem because the pain of ignoring it has grown too intense, then all of a sudden we address it and begin the process of change. Finally, Truth has broken through.

Or, perhaps it's like reading our Bible and we read the same passage again and again dozens and dozens of times over the years when all of a sudden new meaning bursts forth and we see its deeper meaning. A meaning we've missed, ignored, glossed over for all those years. At last, Truth finally takes hold.

Or, perhaps it’s like when I was a kid just learning to read and for whatever reason I thought the sign above a little shopping center in my hometown said Pawnee Village. When others pointed out that’s not what it said, then all of a sudden I saw that it was actually Payne Village. Truth opened my eyes.

Or, perhaps it’s like amazing grace as expressed in one of America’s favorite hymns that describes “I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see” and now all of a sudden things look different, feel different, are different because the light has come and shattered the darkness all of a sudden. Mercifully, Truth finally broke through.

Or, perhaps it’s like after centuries of preparation, of wandering in the wilderness, after the birth, ministry, and death of Christ, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting” and nothing was ever quite the same again. Truth was victorious.

Sometimes it takes time for truth and Truth to take hold and become effective. The result may seem like it came “all of a sudden” -- like water coming to a boil in a microwave -- but the process of change was happening all along.

It’s a process, not a conspiracy.

The bottom line is, as the saying goes, better late than never, even when it feels so sudden. That’s the Truth, the Way, and the Life at work.

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How many times in your life have you faced change that at first annoyed you but later made a lot of sense, perhaps leaving you scratching your head wondering, “Why’d it take so long?” Why is change so hard for us? How have you successfully faced and accepted change? How should Christians respond to what’s happening around them in politics and society? Is there ever a time when we should avoid change? Please share your thoughts in the comments!