Suppose my home is on the coast. There are beautiful views of the ocean. I enjoy the sea breezes. I love hearing and watching the gulls. I have lived there a long time and I am comfortable there. The only problem is that my home is subject to repeated floods, and they seem to be getting more frequent. The floods make a mess! Sometimes I have to clean furniture and replace carpet. Other times it is worse and I have to replace furniture and appliances and tear out wallboard and repaint.
The first few times I was surprised and totally unprepared for the flooding. Now when I find out that a storm is coming I take precautions, and sometimes I succeed in avoiding damage from the flood. That is growth. I move furniture and boxes out of harm’s way. I board up the windows. I start filling sandbags from a big pile of sand in my backyard and build a sandbag wall to protect my home. Often my friends come over to help me. I have become an excellent sandbag engineer. But sandbagging doesn’t always work. It depends on the storm.
At some point, when I become tired of sandbagging, repainting, replacing and otherwise dealing with the aftermath of the flooding, I may decide that it is time to rebuild on higher ground. I might just be able to find a spot that still gives me the view and the sea breeze and the gulls, without the floods. I may feel sad to leave my little house. Perhaps I have great memories there and neighbors I enjoy. But the time may come that the pain of the repeated flooding is worse than the pain of moving and I become willing to do it. That is an indication of growth.
Sometimes our personal lives resemble my house on the coast. The same circumstances or events keep happening to us over and over again. We may learn to better handle the events, perhaps by turning them over to God. But sometimes we may need to make a significant change so that we are no longer subject to those events.
On page 7 of He Did Deliver Me from Bondage, Colleen Harrison says, “I am familiar with a saying: When the pain of the problem gets worse than the pain of the solution we’ll be ready to change.” Moving to higher ground may be painful, but when the pain of continual recurrent flooding becomes worse than the pain of moving, we will become willing to make the move.
- What does the flooding represent in your life?
- How have you been handling it?
- Are you ready to “move to higher ground” (look for a better solution)?
- What options do you have?
- What are you willing to do?
- When will you do it?