Our family is looking at some big changes coming up. Big changes can be tough. They usually are. Chances are you are dealing with a big change, too. You may have just come through one, or you’re looking forward to one, or you’re right in the middle of one.
Humans tend to resist change, even if it’s change for the better. Change messes with our security structure, with what makes us feel safe and moored. We’d generally rather things stayed the same, nice and comfortable, a lake of calm without a ripple.
But of course that’s an impossibility. Life and entropy both keep everything in a state of constant change. If you’re not changing, you are by definition dead.
We know this. Or we are learning it. In our learning, can we discover how to accept the challenge change brings? To discover the adventure of it?
Maybe we can, but maybe only people under thirty can do that.
The fact is many changes are hard, hard work. They are painful. They are frightening. They are certainly not fun. And they don’t feel adventurous until decades later in the recounting.
There are at least three possible responses to change that I’ve seen. Depending on how you look at it, I’m sure there are countless responses, but the three I have in mind are Look Back, Look Forward, and Look Up.
Look Back. We do this when staring down a big change. We look back like Lot’s wife on Sodom or like the people of Israel on Egypt. We long for the good ole days and find it easy to forget all the bad of before. We just know in our bones that change will be worse.
Look Forward. This might seem like a better response. Change is coming, so let’s dream of how it could be! It’ll get better by and by if we only ache for it enough. That thinking can rouse our spirits–that is, until reality sets in. Somehow, the future is never quite so perfect when it becomes the present.
What’s left is what many wait for until last and what most folks never find. When the ship beneath us tilts away and the waves come crashing down, then we Look Up.
And we find a God who never changes.
“No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”
I Samuel 2:2 NKJV
Let that sink in. He is the Rock that we can anchor our souls in. A song says “When all around are sinking sands, on Christ the Solid Rock I stand.”
“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
II Timothy 2:10-13 NKJV
Sure, life is a seemingly chaotic storm of change, but with our hearts anchored firmly to an unchanging God, we can rest secure. Listen, Jesus speaks, “Peace, be still.”
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.
And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark 4:37-41 NKJV