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Friday, March 23, 2018

Changing My Understanding...

I began my employment with Hewlett Packard back in 1980 and in looking back today, I can see that I came on board at such time that would prove to be an end of an era.  The company was founded in a one car garage in 1939 and quickly grew into a large corporation building top of the line electronic measurement devices, computers, printers and medical equipment that at one time were the norm in every hospital across the nation.  Each time Piper went to the hospital for the birth of one of our four children, I would always smile… with a little pride, at all the HP equipment that filled the delivery room!

But around the mid-eighties things began to change as many smaller companies began building products specifically designed for a single signal frequency measurement, while HP’s boxes covered a large range of frequency measurements… which many customers did not really need!  Well, needless to say, things began to change rapidly within the company in order to stay not only relevant in, but on top of the field.

As the 1980’s ended and we moved into the 1990’s it seemed like the once stable company that most other newbie’s in the business sought to emulate, was constantly changing its business model, updating its product line and just about every part of the business including the methods it used to hire, evaluate and train its employees.

By that time, I was supervising in a fabrication area with many long-term employees who felt very settled into the way HP used to do business and the barrage of changes did not come easy to them.  During the final years of my time there it seemed that I was spending the majority of my time explaining the new changes to my team, counseling the workers who were not happy about them, and attending higher lever meetings where the ever-coming new changes were introduced and explained to management.

Let’s face it… change is NOT easy for most of us!  But like I often heard said, the only thing constant in life is change!  I freely admit that while I didn’t always personally like the changes that were being introduced, it was part of my job to get used to them, to understand them, to embrace them and then explain them to my team in simple and encouraging terms.

I still don’t like certain changes that have happened in my personal life, but just like my secular professional career I have learned to embrace them and more importantly to trust the Lord for them… and then move forward with the eyes of faith!

I mentioned in yesterday’s post some thoughts concerning the idea stated in the beginning of Hebrews 11:3 were the unknown writer of the book declared “By faith we understand…”  And I asked the question: “Understand what?” to which I quickly answered “Everything!” 

Now I am not sure if I rattled a few folks there or not… but think about it for a moment.  Those employees who complained the loudest about all the changes that were going on in the workplace that the company was initiating in order to stay in business and at the top of the food chain (sort of say!) were seeing the changes through their understanding of the way things used to be. 

Then with that basis of understanding all they could imagine was doom and gloom for the company and their futures!  Their understanding was based entirely on what they thought they saw happening before their eyes.  And they refused to see or better yet, attempt to even believe the rational and potential end results of the new changes that I was painstakingly presenting them.

I’ve seen it over and over again during the last ten years as Piper and I have had to deal with all the changes going on with her health.  I have found myself in a similar position as when I was at HP trying to explain the current medical reports on Piper and the steps we were taking to handle the situation to loved ones and experience almost the same kinds of reactions as my teams back in the 1990’s at HP (or actually Agilent Technologies by that time!).

It would seem that when our eyes are focused on what we see in the natural instead of what God in His Word says about the situation, and then refuse to hear or acknowledge all the facts of everything that had been and was currently going on behind the scenes, that it is way too easy to begin to formulate fearful and most likely incorrect scenarios of what the future holds for us.

But… think about a positive scenario for a moment.  When we choose to understand what we see with our natural eyes consequent to what God’s Word says about his view of the situation and agree with Him, then we have a totally different view of the potential outcome!

Wuest’s Word Studies explains the New Testament use of the word “understand” in Hebrews 11:3 saying “The word ‘understand’ is the translation of noeo which means ‘to perceive with the reflective intelligence.’ It is distinguished from the mere physical act of seeing. It is the perception of the mind consequent upon seeing. In the New Testament it is never used of mere physical sight. Vincent (Vincent’s Word Studies) says: ‘Here is meant the inward perception and apprehension of the visible creation as the work of God, which follows the sight of the phenomena of nature.’”

To me this idea talks of a process that goes something like this:

1)    We see the situation with our natural eyes.

2)    Our brain and spirit immediately connect to God’s Word and what it says about what your natural eyes are viewing and immediately processes this added information and sends it back to your eyes.

3)    Your eyes adjust to the new complete information and you see what God’s Word declares as the truth concerning what or who you are looking at… in other words, you are now seeing the situation through the eyes of faith that are founded on the unchanging truth of God’s Word and not on the “variableness (or) shadow of turning” that occurs in the natural world around you. (See: James 1:17)

What do you think about that?  I might suggest that you let this idea percolate inside of you this weekend!  Take a look at the scriptures and then give it some prayer .  Who knows… it might just give you an entirely NEW outlook on life!

Hope that you have a great weekend!  I have a newly discovered water leak in my pipes coming from the meter to the house that I am dealing with!  Thankfully I have a Water Pipe Protection Plan that I opted into a year or so ago!  Isn’t God good… I have a whole story to tell about how I got my understanding of that situation changed in the middle of the night…

And while you’re thinking about today’s post… keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to understand my world today?”

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