Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we examine the process of adjusting to radical changes.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
When the River Changes Course
Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John, Chapter 16, Verse 33
Brothers and sisters, experience has shown that changes are always occurring, but most of these changes are slight and require only slight adjustments. These kinds of changes do not usually disturb our routine and if they do are, they only short lived. But then there are times when we are hit with monumental changes that "blow us out of the water." Such changes require major adjustments in our behavior and attitudes.
When a glacier starts out on its trek, it alters everything in its path. The course of rivers has been changed in response to massive glaciers. And these rivers no longer run their familiar courses. Their course has been changed permanently. All the surrounding scenery that once graced their shores is gone forever. Now new scenery takes the place of the old scenery. In a similar way, when we are hit with one of those life changing experiences, we become like the river whose course is changed permanently by the moving glacier. Gone are the familiar values and meanings that we previously enjoyed. Sometimes these glaciers of change remodel our social interactions, as old acquaintances are replaced by new ones. Sometimes physical adjustments are required as a consequence of these changes. And sometimes, most of the time, the emotional adjustments needed are horrific, requiring time to regain our emotional tranquility. It is at such times that we earnestly seek to know the Father’’s will.
We seek to know the Father’’s will to gain divine stability and tranquility of spirit in the midst of the raging storms of change. We seek to know the moral and spiritual meanings of our desperate struggle. We know the physical, intellectual, and emotional meanings of our struggle. It is self-evident. But we seek to adjust to these kaleidoscopic changes. And we pray and pray, constantly seeking to adjust and master the experience. Sometimes, we become weary in trying to adjust and comprehend it all as the arms of our mind are too short to wrap ourselves around the experience.
Sometimes our hope seems to be evaporating and our faith seems to be flagging, but we continue to pray and pray, seeking God’’s grace and his mercy. We meditate and meditate, turning the problem over and over in our heads and still the light escapes us. But during all these struggles, we know that one day it will come to an end. We just don’’t know when and wonder if we can "hold out" to the end. Our faith is sorely tested as we are confronted with the necessity to really trust the Father. We know that the Father loves us and that he is with us as we go through these experiences, but now we are experiencing this love in the midst of trial and tribulation. We have been taught and believe that all things work together for good for those who love the heavenly Father, but now we are experiencing this truth first-hand.
Throughout sleepless nights and unsettled emotional states, we seek to know his will. We pray for growth, for moral and spiritual power, and still the night of pain and suffering continues. And always standing by the door of our soul is the nameless fear, ready to enter, once faith, hope, and trust depart. But we constantly repeat that "this too shall pass." But when? And we wonder somewhere in the back of our minds if we have been dumped into the back waters of a meaningless life. But our faith instructs us that ““he has not brought us this far to leave us now." It constantly whispers that we should trust him. We should not stumble over this experience, ““be still and know that I am the Lord." Allow those slumbering potentials to unfurl that are being actualized in this experience. Being experiential creatures, it is hard to appreciate the values that are being generated. We can grasp the values that are required for the experience: patience, tenacity, trust, faith and hope, and the unswerving dedication to doing the Father’’s will. But the full appreciation of these values and their meanings elude us while we are caught in a net of moral and spiritual struggle. It takes some time to adjust to this course change. So we settle down patiently for the long haul and continue to seek the Father’’s will.
On reflection, we recall this momentous truth: "To a God knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash? Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God." We are inspired with hope, faith, and trust, and continue on the new course.
And we continue to pray. Soon our prayers give way to worship, as we submit to the divine will without reservation. We begin to realize that our lives have changed course. We are now on a new and higher path of truth, one that contains higher divine values and meanings.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning when the journey through life changes course. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry