I used to love to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch or dinner. With my rather hefty appetite, they had a meal that I could put away easily. “Two piece chicken and a biscuit, all dark, extra crispy with fries instead of mashed potatoes.” The extra crispy chicken recipe was incredibly yummy. Then, probably twenty years or so ago they changed it to a “new” crispy version. I haven’t enjoyed their chicken much since. “New” wasn’t better for me. In fact, I didn’t know why they changed it as the old way was awesome! Maybe God was saving me (and my heart and arteries) from myself. 😉 I didn’t eat it in moderation, certainly and that is not a problem any more!
So often, we prefer things the way they are. My husband and I tried a new Mexican restaurant last weekend and were disappointed. I remember saying to him when we got the bill, why try something different when the old tried and true is just fine?
I am so thankful that when the Lord chooses to do a new work in me, it is truly an improvement. It isn’t for no reason. It is “improved” or “bigger and better.” He seems to be in the business of new…quite frequently–even when I think things are “fine.” Even when I think things are “godly” and good…even excellent and God-honoring just as they are.
If you have been a visitor at my blog very often, you know by now that the theme that reverberates through many of the pages here is that of a new thing:
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
This season of my life is filled with a major, MAJOR “new thing.” I see now that I have been living with the illusion that things were “fine” as is. The old crispy seemed really good to me. It didn’t need to change. Unlike changing the ingredients in a favorite menu item, however, there is a boat-load of pain associated with the changes God is bringing in my life right now. He has, as it were, pulled a veil back…a veil I didn’t know was in place. In doing so, he has exposed the truth of my life–things that I thought were submitted to him, honoring to him, he has shown to be merely a veneer that has hidden the truth of what was beneath–things that had to be exposed.
I didn’t hide or choose not to see truth intentionally. In fact, it is still hard to believe how clueless I have been. I walked with God daily, my prayer life had deepened, I was involved in ministry, and writing what promised to be a wonderful new book 🙂 with a favorite friend, author, and mentor, Judy Halliday. This all came to a screeching halt as God seemingly surreptitiously, yet with love, drew back the shroud that had kept me lulled into a sense of self-confidence. He has shown me now how desperately I need him and that there are so very many idols I have looked to for meaning and a sense of purpose and identity–even while I thought I was serving and honoring him.
The pain of this “new thing” is almost beyond my ability to withstand. In fact, apart from the promises of His Word and leaning on the presence of His Spirit, I crumble. He is calling me to a greater dying to myself, a higher dependence on Him in the moment. Nothing is safe from scrutiny. I no longer can assume anything. I no longer trust myself and my judgment. I must lean on him for EVERYTHING.
Whatever it is that God is doing, is like birthing twin bales of barbed wire. And there are no guarantees what will remain when all is said and done and this season is over. I have every confidence that God will be Lord in a way I never have yet known him.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhCPR-DbNWg?fs=1
Whatever He is doing inside of me, it looks like chaos, but somehow there’s peace. This is true. He is doing a new thing. I anticipate that 2011 will be a year of much more change and transformation. I anticipate it with some level of fear, but also a sense of adventure. I know that His perfect love will cast out my fear and I will be left with something truly “new and improved.”
How about you? What new thing is God up to in your life? Is He calling you to release something old to be able to make room to embrace what He intends to fill your arms, mind, heart?