6/30/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
It was an unsettling moment when I made that turn and drove up to the business that my grandfather began in 1925. The business that my father took over from his father, and the business that I thought I would eventually take over from my dad. It was an unsettling moment because on this particular day a dramatic life change would begin. I knew, later that day, everything was going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The family business would be closed forever.
The place where I had worked every day is a place that would no longer exist. I would never work there again. The dreams that I had for Judy’s and my future and the future of my family, were going to dissolve on this very day. Things will never be the same from this day forth, for me, my family, as well as the business that my “Grampie Gower” birthed.
As I looked back on my life this week, I could now see that the change, from all those years ago, worked out for the best for my family and me. Although on that particular day long ago, I did not like or approve of that change at all.
I also can remember another significant change in my life. I was in 7th grade at the time and I had been at a youth camp in Brooks, Maine for two weeks. It was Friday and the next day I would be headed home. I can remember like it happened yesterday. Bob Dyer was speaking at the last campfire of the week. I was sitting beside Bob’s brother Larry, and that night my life changed forever. And when I say forever, I mean FOREVER!!
That night I realized that I desperately needed a Savior for the forgiveness for my sins. Unlike the auction of my father’s business, I did not see this coming. On this particular night, listening to a message from the Bible, a message, by the way, I am sure I had heard many times. Yet this night was different, this night I actually heard God speak to my heart, and I responded. This night I admitted that I was a sinner, I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and something dramatic happened. God actually moved into my life and set up permanent residency.
The inward change that happens when we accept Christ happens immediately. We would also like to think that the outward change in our life happens overnight, but we would be wrong. We would be just as wrong to assume that this change will never happen. Change comes in fits and spurts, but it will come. I am far different today than I was when I first came to Christ in the 7th grade. My wife Judy, who knows me best, will tell you that the changes, although often slow in coming, are definitely for the better!
I was talking with my friend Bill on Sunday about this very thing. Bill’s father died when Bill was very young and he was talking about how different his life would have been if his dad had lived long enough to see Bill grow up.
I have often thought about how different my life and the life of my family would be if I were still working at the family business. I also think about how different my life and the life of my family would have been if I had not accepted Christ that evening at the final campfire service before I was to head home from camp as a 7th grader.
Although our life has not always been easy, I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my life under God’s control is far better than any life that I could have planned for myself and my family.
What I thought was an unjust event (the loss of our family business) turned into a blessing beyond my wildest imagination. And that night when I asked Jesus to move into my life and save me, that decision did not only change my life for the here and now; Jesus is preparing me for eternity in heaven with Him.
Here is the good news: you can change too! With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you currently are and the person God wants you to be. God can take the pain and disappoints that life brings and turn them into a blessing. God can take your sins and failures and create in you a new and forgiven heart.
I will close with the words of the Apostle Paul… I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18-21)
If I can help in any way at all, you can reach me at Pastor@Centerbarnsteadcc.org or message me on Facebook. Change happens! Make sure it is the right change.