Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
Change. It’s inevitable. Get used to it.
If only it were so easy. Consider this . . .
They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Here on the farm, March doesn’t seem to know if it’s coming or going this year. One day and we think “SPRING!” Dogs pant as they run through thawed, muddy hay fields. It’s 60 degrees. Two days later, temperatures plunge 42 degrees. Those same hay fields are frosted white—again. Those same dogs panting in the heat two days ago now have snow-flaked faces and frozen whiskers. Back and forth we go. Winter. Spring. Winter. Spring. The change keeps happening.
And then there are my friends. One day he’s healthy, he thinks. Just a little tired. Felt some bumps in his neck. Goes to his doctor. Gets some tests. Turns out it’s cancer. Stage three. Maybe four. Chemo begins. And I’m on my knees, leveled by the imperfection of life and the abrupt change of course.
One day, I hug the little guy after church—the one I’ve taught in VBS a couple years straight. Next day, he’s hit by a truck and lands in the pediatric ICU. I cook a meal for his distraught family and pray while mashing those potatoes with the full force of my anger over broken, over accidents. Then I remember and come to my senses. I raise my eyes and hands at the kitchen sink, giving thanks to my Christ who kept this little one from far greater injury.
Even in the horrible, God’s hand of grace keeps.
One day, another young friend meets a man she thinks may be the answer to her prayers, my prayers. A few weeks later, she’s saying goodbye. She’s waiting on God even though the waiting is hard, sometimes. The unknown stares us all down in different ways, gripping us and shaking us to our core—if we trust in anything more than God. But my young friend? She has decided to go all the way only with her One and Only Savior, Jesus. So she gave up the described vintage diamond and the house already owned. She gave up the ripe opportunity to marry, to have the baby she wholeheartedly wants, to stay at home and school that child. She’s decided she only wants what Jesus wants when Jesus wants it. She texted me today expressing her heart’s desire, “Here I am Lord, send me”, whether it’s here in Milwaukee or some far-away land. I gave great thanks to the One who infuses her with such God-confidence—to the One who can change her life—all of our lives—in a heartbeat.
Change. It’s inevitable. I’m getting used to it. You?
I’ve found that comfort with change comes from trusting in God. The more we grow in our ability to trust our Maker, the more we come to trust any change He allows. Doesn’t mean the change is pleasant. Sometimes it’s downright painful. But trusting God means knowing God works only for good, no matter what it looks like to me or anyone else.
God knows such trust is often difficult for us, weak and wounded as we are in our flesh, especially in issues of trust. God knows how our minds struggle and how our hearts hurt. God knows our tendencies to bury, to deny, to build walls, to cry.
But will we seek Him still?
Will we pour out all we have to Him, even if it’s tears in the moment? Or anger? Or pleading? Will we still finish all with “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven?” as our pledge of allegiance—as our banner of trust?
We should never build a foundation on anything that can be lost. We should never build our foundation on anything that can change—no person, no thing, no idea.
If we’re honest, we’ll confess we do put our trust in most everything but God alone. We put our faith in most anything but God alone. We cling to what we can see, to what we think will build us and make us secure. And that’s why we live with angst. Because deep down, we know all we build our lives upon is like shifting sand. We know everything—every person, every thing, every idea—can be extinguished like a candle flame by the breath of God—or fate—or whatever other power in which we believe. Deep down, we know we aren’t nearly as powerful as we’d like to believe. And no one else is either.
So what do I need to change this day? What do you need to change this day?
How about changing our minds and hearts? How about recalibrating our souls to seek the only One who never shifts, who never changes?
Our triune God. Our three-in-one Divine. Our Father—Son—Holy Spirit.
In God alone I want to trust. All else can disappoint, fail, leave, die, disappear, harm. All else can fracture our need for perfection.
Only ONE is unchangeable.
Only ONE delivers forever love and trust.
Only ONE gives ultimate meaning and purpose.
His name is Jesus. The one who died for you—and me—so we could be carried away from all the shaky foundations upon which we build our lives.
So when our foundations start to rattle and roll, start to shake us to our core, we can look to the One reaching out to us still—even if that One is the last one we try. Jesus would rather be the last One chosen than to never be chosen. That’s how much He loves you and me. That’s how patient He is. HE—the GOD of the Universe—waits for US to open the door of our minds and hearts and souls—to HIM! He knows how we work, we wayward souls, ever being deceived into believing there’s something better, someone greater, someway easier. And when we finally reach our own dead ends, then we just might just accept some solid and unchanging and forever giving love. Then, we might just be ready . . . to be saved from ourselves . . . by the only One who can save us . . . by the only One who waits for us with open arms . . . at the end of all our dead ends.
Ready for a change?
I the LORD do not change. Malachi 3:6