Doesn’t it seem like change comes slowly? Breaking bad habits, learning new stuff, changing from Christmas décor to normal…it takes time. I don’t know if anything seems slower than a cactus. We have a children’s book about a cactus. Cactus Hotel tells the story of the cactus. It takes 10 years for the cactus to grow to be 4 inches tall. After 25 years it’s finally two feet tall. Some things just take a long time. Some change is so slow we don’t notice until it affects us in some way. My grandma called me this week to check-up on me. I asked her how she was, and she said that she was just fine. But she said the family is worried about her forgetfulness. She said that she gets together with her friends once a month, and they have joked for a long time about all the stuff they forget now. My grandma said I’m 83, and stuff just doesn’t work the way it used to work. It’s been a slow process, but it’s starting to show…age.
Now, I think we generally like everything to be fast. Hurry do your homework…do the dishes fast…figure out what is happening this week. Sometimes I feel like God works so slowly, but there are times when God makes quick changes. Acts 17:1-9 is a story of when God allows Paul and Silas to have huge impact in a short amount of time. In this chapter they are in Thessalonica, and Paul talked with the people in the synagogue for three Sabbath days about Christ. He told them, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ…”(vs.3). The area in Thessalonica was different from any other area Paul had taught. The area was wealthy, and it attracted a group of prominent people. In this short amount of time a large group of people came to know Christ. This became the church in Thessalonica. The group of people are described as, “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.”
This didn’t come without problems, of course. But it was a time when God chose to work quickly. We never know what God may have next for us. Not all change is slow…be ready to be surprised by what God has for you in 2011.