EARTH: Slow & Steady Transformation by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Slow & Steady Transformation by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

While on a voyage through the Inside Passage of Alaska a few years ago, we cruised into Tracy Arm, a fjord near Juneau, to see the Sawyer Glaciers. We were fortunate enough to have a balcony, and we sat dressed in bathrobes with steaming cups of coffee as the ship turned around, giving us a phenomenal view. Ice is usually clear or sometimes white, but a glacier has blue within it. Over centuries, feet of snow are packed down year after year. As weight and pressure increase, the dense ice absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue, which is what we see.

Glaciers move slowly, scraping away plants and trees, crushing boulders into gravel, reshaping mountains, creating canyons.  When a glacier reaches the sea, sections break off (calve) and fall, becoming icebergs in the cold green ocean.  You don’t see the glacier moving day-by-day, but you see the evidence of movement.

We don’t always see the Holy Spirit moving within us, either, but the evidence of his presence is that our “lifescape” is changing.  Our decision to accept Christ as Savior and Lord may not seem to make a difference in our lives at first, but we can trust that God is working.  If we are willing, he will use every trial and tribulation from his life to transform us into the “glorious image” of his son, Jesus.  It is a process, one that begins at our conversion and doesn’t end until Christ’s return.  Philippians 1:6 assures us of this reality: “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  Like the path of a glacier, the evidence will be revealed.

God made us in his image so that we can reveal his glory through our transformed lives.  We can live in a way that brings change – not only within us, but in our relationships, our communities, our country, and our world.  Small, unnoticed changes over time make a big difference – in nature and in a single human life.

The same Jesus who turned water into wind can transform your home,
your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business,
and his business is the business of transformation.

(Adrian Rogers)

REFLECT

What does it mean to be changed into God’s image?  Why do you think God chooses to sanctify us gradually?  What changes has God made in your life in the time you’ve been walking with him, and what further transformation are you hoping to see?

APPLY

If you feel discouraged because you aren’t seeing transformation in your life, take a moment to look back over the past months and recall the areas where you most struggled.  How are you different than you once were?  Even if the struggles have not changed, perhaps the way you respond has.  If you’re still not sure if you have changed, ask a friend how he or she sees you being transformed into God’s image.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Heavenly Father, thank you for working in my life.  Even in those moments or days or months when I feel like I’m exactly the same as I used to be, help me to trust that you are faithful to complete your work in me.  I praise you because you are transforming me into your glorious image!  I want to be open to the work of your Spirit; I want to be more like you.  May I always be ready to listen and learn.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
(Psalm 139:23-24)

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