Change...it is one of the great rules of life. It is a norm upon which you can count. A great many songs and commentaries have been written about change. We have all heard the old, clichéd quotes: "Nothing stays the same," and, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Regardless of which you believe to be truer, change is a topic to which we can all relate. No one is immune to the changing seasons of life or exempt from the changes those seasons bring. I happen to believe there are actually three things you can count on in life: death, taxes, and change.
You could discuss change with a wide-variety of people and get a wide-range
of responses. Some folks thrive on change, feeling a renewed sense of purpose
and refreshment to their spirit when it occurs. They view it as an
opportunity for growth and a chance to solve new problems in pliable and
exciting ways. Others dread it like a common cold. They have more
of the, "if-it-isn't-broken-why-are-we-changing-it," mentality.
To these people, change typically brings initial, overwhelming feelings of
uncertainty and perhaps even fear. God has definitely wired us all
uniquely and given us individual strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore,
life has more than likely taught these two different groups of people very
different things where change is concerned. This demands understanding by
each group and a recognition that some of us are better suited for change than
others, just as some of us are better equipped to bounce a basketball than
manage a checkbook.
I would fall in the latter group of people and change (I can also manage a checkbook a lot better than play basketball, so I guess I fall in the latter of both above comparisons). To me, change is typically a
nuisance and an interruption. It feels like I just get used to the way
things are in life and I have to start all over again. Depending on the
specific type of change, it can feel that adjusting to it is a colossal waste
of energy and time. Now I am not talking about trying a new food,
vacationing to a new destination, or rearranging the furniture in your living
room. Those are simple and fun changes that most of us do
enjoy. I am talking about the kinds of change that require major
adjustment, deep thought, or new problem-solving tactics. During those
seasons, it can be difficult to let go of the familiar and add unfamiliar
things that the new change requires. When you are a person who tends to
cling to people and things a bit too tightly, there can be some grief
involved. There is always loss felt when something common or
comfortable in life is now missing.
So how does a non-change person survive the constant changes life
demands? For starters, we must look to the steadfast, unwavering love,
grace, and mercy of God our Father. God's Word tells us plainly that He
never changes--He is timeless. In James 1:17, we read, "Every good and perfect gift is from
above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not
change like shifting shadows." We can also stand firm on the
lasting Word of the Lord. In Isaiah 40:8, we read, "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures
forever.” Because God's Word is sound, ageless, and true, we can always look to it
for wisdom and guidance in times of change. We may face broken promises
and fickle, dishonest manipulations by others, but God always keeps His
promises and He loves us eternally. In Deuteronomy 7:9, we read, "Know
therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His
covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep
His commandments." Furthermore, we can trust in the
unchanging love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who like His Father, "...is the same yesterday and
today and forever," (Hebrews 13:8).
Perhaps you read these verses
and think, "Yeah...well, things are different today, so how does this apply
to me?" Well, friend, God's Word says that, "What has been will be again, what has been done will
be done again; there is nothing new under the sun, "
(Ecclesiastes 1:9). God's unchanging love and eternal Word are as
applicable and reliable today as they were in the very beginning. The problems and challenges people faced thousands of years ago may have looked differently on the surface than ours do today--but they are essentially the same. God's Son,
Jesus Christ, is the One immovable presence in our lives Who we can count on
for everything and Who we can trust to always be there. Change in people
and life are the rule--but God is the great exception. Amen.