Driving home from the orthodontist, my teenager sulkily asked, “when can I get these off?”
Not wanting to tell him the truth, I replied, “in awhile.”
He gave me “the look.”
Hesitantly, I told him the truth. “18-24 months.”
His reaction was what I expected.
Change is difficult. Just ask the disciples. When Jesus rose from the dead, I’m sure they wanted to cling to him and never let go. They knew now He was the Son of God. He would never leave them again. They knew Jesus would restore their country to its rightful owners (Acts 1:6). Yet, God’s plan was different. His plan was not focused on changing governmental rule. He was focused on changing hearts.
His disciples were left, still under Roman rule, gaping up at the sky. Were they hoping it was a joke? Did they think nothing had changed? Or did they cling to his words, “But very truly I tell you, it is good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7, NIV)
The goal of my son’s braces is an external change. The goal of the Holy Spirit is an internal one. Change is difficult, but necessary. Just as I encourage my son, the results will be worth the difficulty.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” II Corinthians 5:17, NIV