I dislike change. Well, actually I hate change, but I tell my boys not to say “hate”…. Truthfully, I think I am a little scared of change. This past summer I had a great opportunity to look change in the face and say, “Ha! I am not afraid of you!”
We are blessed to attend a great church- a mega church actually. There are lots of great things about being a member in a fellowship with many people. One of the wonderful things about our church is a program called “24/7”. It is for college age students who feel they are called into full-time ministry or those students who just want to learn all they can about the Lord in a much focused, 10 month period. These students pay tuition, but to forgo the need to pay room and board, they live with church members during the program.
My husband and I received a mass email from our friends who coordinate all the home sponsors asking us to consider housing a 24/7 student. I think the email probably said “prayerfully consider”. I didn’t even “consider”, much less “prayerfully consider” before I promptly deleted the email. About a week later, my husband said he had spoken to the guy friend and felt like this would be a good thing for us to do. My immediate response as we drove home from church was, “I don’t want to do that!” In fact, I think I was probably (ahem!) a brat about the whole thing. By the time we got home, I had softened a little. I told my very giving husband, “If you pray about this and really feel like we should do it, well…okay”.
We had recently taken a spiritual gifts test and one of my two highest gifts was hospitality-which my husband was quick to point out. My answer to this was,
“Yes, but my gift of hospitality is for those people who visit and go home in a few hours. My gift is not for people who STAY.”
Obviously, the Holy Spirit began to work on my heart, because I actually had gotten excited about the student who would be living with us before I even met him. To be honest, some of my concerns were: what if he’s weird (I know, how spiritual is that?!) and even worse, what if he’s a slob? (I’m kind of obsessive about my casa being neat.)
Late in August, Cody moved in. We loved him immediately! After a very short time, it was like he had always been with us. He is like a cool big brother to my two boys, and he has the perfect mix of respect and sarcasm that goes over great in the Byram household. Plus, for a 19 ½ year old guy, he keeps his area pretty tidy!
I was reminded of another valuable lesson in this endeavor. Change is not all bad. Only God never changes.
“I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1 :17
Change is inevitable. As believers, we are instructed to change. Jesus told the disciples that unless we change and come to him as little children, we would not see the kingdom of God (Mt 18:2). Also, don’t forget that one day all believers will be changed when we see our King (I Cor. 15:51).
We are almost halfway through our opportunity to pour into the life of this wonderful young man. I don’t know how we are going to handle it when he leaves in May. However, I know my unchanging God will once again give the grace needed to do just that-accept life…changes and all.