2017 The Year of Change

Welcome to 2017 and the year of the rooster!

My last log was (shamefully) from a few months ago, and since we still have the new year spirit in our consciousness, I would like to start off with a reminder to everyone about God’s ways to change.  Well, first of all, I do agree that 2017 is a year of change.  And we are actually making ‘Change’ our main theme here in Grace Counselling Centre.

Christian Counselling is a catalyst for healthy change.  Life is dynamic and energetic, and we are supposed to flow with it and not fall behind to stagnation.  As for me, anything we do automatically as part of our routines should be thrown out the window.  Routines rarely teach us anything and I believe it is time for us to actually put our brains to full use once again.  So, have you decided on what to change or improve for this year?

I also want to set this article’s mood as a response to the myriad of requests from the counselling public.  Indeed, counselling is for change, we find the motivation and the healthy direction for our new life and we move on from there.  The problem which I have encountered from the counselling battle grounds in 2016 is the thinking people carry that God works ALWAYS through miracles.  I do believe in miracles; although, it is dangerous for people to presume that miracles are the default ways in which God works. And because miracles demand that change and results happen instantaneously, one can imagine how this can be a nightmare for counsellors.

I would like to start out the year by sharing God’s way of Sowing and Reaping.  One may notice that lessons from the Old and New Testament usually revolve around farming – that of seeds being sown and the harvest coming out over time.

The Lord will rarely hand to us a finished product, and right now, I can’t seem to think of any Bible references wherein God handed a freebie blessing to anyone.  On the other hand, when it comes to grooming unfinished products, which in principle is referred to as ‘sowing seeds’, plenty images come to mind:

We have David, starting out as a shepherd boy being groomed to be king.  We have Moses who probably suffered from low-esteem and social phobia transformed by God to be one of the world’s greatest public speakers.  We have Gideon who started out as a coward, used by God to lead an army of 300.  We have the rugged fisherman Peter who learnt directly from Jesus Christ Himself to become one of the greatest leaders of the Church.  And the list goes on from Saul to Paul, from Jacob to Israel.  None of the Bible greats, save The Lord Jesus Christ, started off as the ‘finished product’.

Everyone had their sowing stage before reaping the harvest.  It is almost like the patriarchs had to go through a stage of rebirth or a stage of ‘tiral by fire’ before they became God’s finished products.  This is the same principle God uses for our finances, for our careers, and for our very own personality, even our relationshps. Why should we expect any different for ourselves?  Why should we use another principle of instant outcomes for our relationships and our personal success?

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
-Philippians 1:6

The Lord will rarely hand to us an instant miracle where we learn nothing and gain nothing spiritually.  The Lord always works through a process of learning and growth.  With this, we always start out as a seed, then as time goes by and we gain more revelation about Jesus Christ and His ways, we grow in Him and Him in us.  Let The Carpenter do His work as fishermen become evangelists and shepherds become kings.

He wants us to be part of this glorious growth process and He wants to do it with us.  Where is the fun and glory should things come by instantly?   Let us forgo our lottery mind set, the ones we learned from movies of fantasy when we were growing up.  The Saviour whom we have been waiting for has already come and He has already given up His life on the cross for our Salvation.  And His ways are that of Sowing and Reaping.

2017 is a year of change.  Let us do this together by sowing in the seeds and by patiently waiting for The Lord’s timing.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
– 1 Corinthians 3:6