PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS
Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”
“I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
When John Newton, author of the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, wrote the words, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see,” he was writing about his own powerful change of direction. Newton’s change of direction, from being the captain of a slave ship to becoming a minister was in response to a direct encounter with God.
The Bible is full of stories of people who have been changed in and through their encounters with God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit. As people of faith, we need not ever be afraid of change. In fact, as people of faith we expect that our ongoing walk with God will undoubtedly lead to ongoing change and growth in our lives. And, as people of faith, we believe that God—named or not named—is the author of all change and growth.
“I once was lost, but now am found” reminds us that change in our lives often comes, not as the result of our own initiative, but as the result of God’s initiative. We still have the free will to respond to God’s invitation to change, and therefore have an essential role in the change process, but it is good to remember that the initial invitation to change is often an invitation from God. “We love because God first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
As you think about significant changes you have made, or are making, be sure to take time to reflect on where you find God in the midst of these changes. Have you ever changed direction in your life in response to a clear sign or calling from God? Was that call clear at the time or did it become clear later, after you were making the change? Are you aware of a change right now that God is inviting you to make?