It’s the rhythm of life. Life is quite literally a sequence of one change after another. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” In other words, the only thing that doesn’t change is change. If you have lived for any length of time, you know this to be the truth. You can’t stop it and you can't hide from it and resistance is futile.
If we are honest, we forget this easily. Or maybe we simply choose to think that we are the special ones and somehow the exception: “It won’t happen to me.” We lie to ourselves, because it will. And it does.
The seasons of our life from birth until death are like the Midwest seasons; as soon you get used to one of them, it’s gone and the next season of life rudely appears seemingly announced: child; high school; college; singleness; married without kids; married with kids; career 1; career 2…etc.
As I think about my current life, change has become a very close companion these days as Deanna and I are now empty nesters; we have a first grandchild coming soon; some big changes at both places of work; and of course the inevitable constant change that age brings.
Even though it’s mostly good change, at times it feels a bit overwhelming. And quite honestly, change makes me uncomfortable and feel out of control.
Truth is, we all deal with and perceive change differently. Some of us correlate change as acts from Satan himself. Others almost seek out change and hate the idea of routine and the mundane. Others of us accept it and think it’s no big deal until we find ourselves stressed because of it.
But nonetheless, change happens with the quiet consistency of a reliable clock that is always moving forward and waiting for no one.
So as believers, how should we navigate it?
First off, quite simply, expect it. As I have already said, we need to consciously acknowledge that change will happen, and to expect something otherwise is, well, foolish.
No wishful thinking will keep our kids from growing up, spouses from changing, friendships from ebbing and flowing, our bodies from aging, our homes from moving, and the world and economy from getting worse.
So, expect it. Expect change to come many times just as you get comfortable in the current season. Deanna and I joke that we seemed to get the hang of parenting just as our kids headed out the door.
But while expecting it, don’t fear it either. Why not?
Well, because Jesus doesn’t change. Ever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He was perfect at the “beginning,” and He’ll be perfect at the “end.”
For eternity past and for eternity future He won’t ever change and can’t change, no matter what change you find yourself in. He sits above our chaos and change, ready to provide all that is needed to navigate the life allowed to us.
So rest in the fact that…
Jesus is unchanging in the peace that He offers.
Philippians 4: 5b-7 – The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is unchanging in the grace that He pours out.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Jesus is unchanging in the hope that He delivers.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Because of these promises and truths, we don’t have to fear the change that will inevitably come.
Psalm 112:6-8 – For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid…
And here is the mind-bending reality about Jesus. He, as fully God, who never changes, was also fully human. Meaning, that He was born, grew up, and died having walked through many of the same life changes you have.
Jesus experienced all the similar ups and downs and transitions common to all of humanity. And for that reason we have a “high priest who can sympathize with us.”
In other words, He can identify with and understand the difficulty of living in an ever-changing world.
You can go to Him and find a friend who can sympathize with you on a deep and personal level.
But lastly, in the face of change, let God use it to change you.
God loves us as is, but He loves us too much to not change us. In fact, we were saved to be changed. We are saved by Jesus, so we can be changed to be like Jesus. Sanctified and transformed. That’s the point of our life now that we are in Christ.
What if God wants to do something in you as you enter a new season of change?
Maybe God wants to use change in order to remind you that you are not God and in control like you think you are.
Maybe God wants to use change in order to increase your trust and reliance in Him.
So, the question that remains is, “what good will you allow God to do through the change that is to come?”
Ask God to let it be truly for your good and His Glory, and in doing so, you may just find that change is not just inevitable but good.