Change. It blows through our lives, often uninvited, whether we like it or not. At times, it’s a gentle breeze that we can see headed our way, giving us time to prepare for the small adjustments that will need to be made. Sometimes it’s a hurricane that catches us unaware and unprepared, wreaking havoc as it passes through, seemingly disrupting every aspect of our lives. Other times we are the initiators of the gusts, making choices that will have a ripple effect not only for ourselves, but those around us as well.
We celebrate it, cry over it, long for it, fear it. Often all at the same time. We know it is inevitable that it will touch us, yet many times still find ourselves lacking in how to deal with it. We pray it will come to us pleasantly, easing us into new experiences and comforting us along the way. We resent when it comes to us harshly, taking us places we did not want to go and demanding more of us than we want to give.
Pulled from the tethers of the familiar, change takes us to places unknown. The friend fighting her way through the deluge of health issues that suddenly attacked. The dream-chaser who chooses to step out toward a vision only they can see. The co-workers shifting gears as the company makes major decisions. The mom dealing with the angst of a special needs teenager. The retiree with empty hours to fill. The aging man in the mirror wondering what happened to the young boy that used to be there.
Whether the change is one we could see coming for miles, or a bluster that catches us from out of the blue, the value is in our response to it. We see those who are crushed beyond recovery by the maelstrom that hits their lives. We see others who appear to become larger than life as they face the challenges forced upon them. Change is not only about the final outcome, but about the process we go through in moving from point A to point B. (And then to point C…..and D…..and…..) If only we could be sure it would be worth it all…
By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, born anew into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay, unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you….though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, so that the genuineness of your faith may be tested, your faith which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. This proving of your faith is intended to redound to your praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:3-4,6-7
This inheritance, this ever-living hope is for us NOW, not just in heaven! It is the assurance that God is working on our behalf all the time and that in the end, it will surely be worth it all. While change is a constant in our earthly lives, He remains unchanged. He is still God. He is still love. He is still good. And because He is faithful, always true to Himself, our hope in Him can remain unchanged – our faith tested and being proven genuine. To embrace the changes in this life is to truly trust Him.
You may be familiar with the Serenity Prayer written by an American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
But did you know there is more to it?
- Living one day at a time,
- Enjoying one moment at a time,
- Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
- Taking, as Jesus did,
- This sinful world as it is,
- Not as I would have it,
- Trusting that You will make all things right,
- If I surrender to Your will,
- So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
- And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Embracing change. Some are easier than others to hold near and experience fully. But all are purposeful when surrendered to His hands.