The leaves were still changing while we were there. Some changes were obvious, and others more subtle. Our lives are like those trees that go in and out of seasons of change. Spring and fall are seasons of obvious change, like times of new births and marriages. But the changes of winter and summer are less obvious, like stable career seasons and mature discipleship. Winter is so still and barren we wonder if there is any life happening. But if we were to look inside the tree, we would see life, change and growth. This is true with us, too. Regardless of the season, change is always occurring.
As long as we remain connected to the vine of Christ, we will continue to grow and change. This is His design for us. We will never be perfect this side of heaven, but we will be perfected. Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6, “For He who began a good work in you will perfect it.” He goes on to say, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:12-14)
What a prize indeed! To be in His presence, to enjoy His fellowship, and to be changed into His likeness as we walk toward the brighter days of heaven. We are called upward, to reach toward heaven and relate with God even now. Ultimately we will see Him face to face, and this is our ultimate gift. Until then, we have the blessing of not remaining in our damaged state of existence, but being transformed in heart, soul and mind so that we can bring Him glory. But we must realize that this change process is a blessing. Paul embraced this God-led journey, continuing to press onward and upward.
Our goal is to be changed, to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ, and we must be guided every moment of the day by prayer and the Holy Spirit to make the right decisions that will bring about the right changes. The kind of changes that are important in our walk with God can only come about by walking in the Spirit of God - following Him, trusting Him and obeying Him. Only God can change us into His likeness. We cannot.
As you walk on in obedience, God will continue to work in you and change you to be more like Christ, who was and is perfect. I pray you welcome His perfecting hand as you enjoy this season of change.