This article was the Editor Letter for July|August 2016 Issue of Chatter a publication of Irving BIble Church.
Change. Just the word makes me cringe. It makes my heart beat a little faster, my anxiety levels come up, and I start sweating. Recently I moved into a new house. I only moved about 10 miles away from my last house, but I have had to figure out new places to grocery shop, new places to pick up a quick dinner, new rhythms in my house, when to leave for work, when to cook dinner with new roommates. On a much grander scale, my life is in a season of transformation.
There is this RadioLab episode, called “Black Box,” where they discuss things that transform, and we don’t know completely how it happens. The thing or person goes into a box of some kind as one thing and comes out as another. Now, if you are like me, you probably think you already know how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, right? The caterpillar makes the chrysalis and then becomes a butterfly. But, did you know that even entomologists who study insects for a living don’t understand the transformation that happens within the chrysalis? If you cut one open about halfway through the process, the caterpillar has become goo. Crazy, right? There isn’t a half-grown butterfly in there, just goo. And by the way, that was the technical term the scientist gave the transformational stage in the interview, goo.
Right now, I am goo. I am in this season of transformation and change. The Lord has been taking me through this desert season, this place of dryness and bareness. Honestly, I hate it. I like green grass, mountains, and trees. I don’t like dryness and deserts. Yet, here I have been for months on end now, wondering when the water comes, when the streams in the desert will come forth, wondering if I will get rest from the desert and the change. And in this season, Isaiah 43 has been forefront on my mind:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43: 1b-2; 19)
The words talk about transformation for the people of Israel and the reminder that God is faithful. We see that the Lord will protect them in the trials and that he will provide streams in the desert. He is doing new things and breaking old patterns and old sins, and we can choose to fight it, or we can choose to trust him. The Lord is redeeming us while we are goo, he is right there with us no matter what is happening. That truth brings me comfort here in the desert, in the goo, in the change.
In many ways, I think we are all goo. Even IBC is goo right now. Sounds weird, I know; however, I believe that as followers of Christ, we are all in this season of transformation. Churches are always in this stage of transformation. Just as we as a people are growing and changing as the Lord transforms us, so he is transforming the church to look more and more like his Bride.
There are several articles showing the beauty of transformation and change in this issue of Chatter: the girls of My Refuge House are seeing restoration and redemption from terrible pain and heartache. A story how one IBC staffer went from limping herself to loving those who limp spiritually. And so much more.
I hope you enjoy this edition and these articles encourage your heart as you walk through the next few months. May we face the transformation in our own lives and the life of the church with trust, knowing that God is right here with us, and is working all things for our good and his glory.