As our American neighbours celebrate Thanksgiving, I take the opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider God’s work in our lives.
The last couple of months have felt like a rollercoaster for us in many ways. We went through quite a lot of change as a family in a short time which felt like my world was off-kilter as Danielle Strickland beautifully articulated when she described the five phases of change during her session at the Global Leadership summit. She used a chair and a medicine ball to illustrate these phases of change
During stage one, the chair is sturdy and grounded, and all is well with your world. Next comes phase two, where the chair is semi-stable, tilted to its side and feels wobbly. The situation is somewhat familiar but you don’t feel as grounded and in control as you typically would. Then comes stage three with the medicine ball, which is impossible to stand on. You need support through that phase as you feel completely thrown off base. Even though this sesason is most challenging when dealing with change, it doesn’t last forever. There is an end in sight.
Re-enter the season of feeling slightly off-balance with the tilted chair, in phase four. Here you have gone past being out of sorts to adjusting to the change. You have learnt to cope and survive. You aren’t quite where you were but you know that you will get through. And finally, the chair is stable once more in phase five. Your world finally feels anchored again. It probably doesn’t look or feel the same as when you started but you have a new normal and you survived and learnt to thrive in spite of the change.
I can relate to those phases because we have lived every one of them over the past 18 months and in some cases twice over. What I have discovered through dealing with change from moving countries to health crises is that God never changes and his love and promises are the same. Again,He is no respecter of persons, and what He says He will do, He does!
In addition to God’s abiding presence, I am fully persuaded that He sends us just what we need for each season of our lives- whether it be the mental or physical energy, healing, courage, people and or resources. We go through life’s seasons realising that God has never left us as He promised in the double negative- I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:50 ). So we can draw strength and everything we need for each day through the Holy Spirit who is our helper.
I believe we often forget the divine resource we have in the person of God’s indwelling presence. We often carry on as if our lives and challenges are solely ours to solve. This reminds me of the ancient hymn “ oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer”.
I had to remind myself through the good and the bad to draw on the comfort, wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit as I do life and trust in his supply for every single day.
So as I reflect this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, His active comfort and guidance, and for all the people who are his hands and feet in my world- from my husband, through our kids to new friends and strangers who were there just when I need them.
I pray that if you are going through a season of change or feel like your world is off kilteryou will remember that the Holy Spirit is your helper and comforter if you believe. He knows just what you need and is on standby. Happy Thanksgiving.