Excerpt from our District Superintendent's newsletter
A changeless God in changing times…
A friend of mine once commented that there are two things we can be sure of in life, death and taxes. I would like to add one more…change!
Change is inevitable. We cannot stop it. It is all around us. We see it as spring gives way to summer and winter to spring, we see it in ourselves as we age, we see it everyday in society - the world we live in today is not the same world that we lived in 10, 20, or 30 years ago - it has changed! Some change is good like the birth of a baby or starting a new job, while other change is perceived as bad and unwanted like climbing gas prices, hearing a prognosis from the doctor that will change your life, or the onset of COVID two years ago and the change it brought to our world.
So if change is inevitable, why do we fight it or fear it so much?
I wonder if we resist change because it leads to the ‘unknown’? It may not be change that we fear but rather a fear of the unknown. We may not like what we are enduring in the present, but at least we understand it and know it. Change may be something we desire but, because of the unknown it harbours, we resist it.
Change, even in the face of the unknown, may be a good thing though. Change almost always brings growth like a seed that becomes a tree or a baby changes into a boy and then a man. With change we are forced to grow wiser, grow stronger, grow better than before, we are forced to grow. This is good!
I heard a story recently about a boy who watched a butterfly struggling to free itself from a cocoon. It wriggled and strained, making slow progress. The boy felt bad for the butterfly, so in an effort to help the butterfly, he took a small pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to free the butterfly. What emerged was a twisted, stunted, colourless, and weak butterfly that died soon after. The butterfly needed the struggle to get out of the cocoon, a struggle that squeezed life-giving juices into the wings that would give them colour and strength to fly. Change for the butterfly was a difficult struggle that also meant growth and becoming what God intended it to be. To escape that change meant losing out on what it was created for.
Dear friend, you may be facing or experiencing change right now. It may involve your church, your family, your marriage, your work, or even your health. It may invoke feelings of fear or frustration because of an unknown future, but could I encourage you in this way:
Cling to an unchanging God in these changing times: In a time of turmoil and change we need something or someone who is stable, rock solid, and unchanging to hold onto. God says of Himself, “For I, the Lord, do not change…” (Malachi 3:6), and Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” It is the ship who fixes its anchor to an immovable and solid rock on the sea bed that is safe in the middle of the storm. So, in the same way, walk a little closer to Jesus, cling a little tighter to Him, and fix or anchor your hope, your future, and your heart to God. He has been faithful and true in the past, so will He not continue to be so in the chaos and turmoil of life change too?
Cling to God’s unchanging Word in a changing world: The Bible is unchanging for a reason; it is the Word of God! Jesus promised that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35), and Peter stated that, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.” (1Peter 1:25). The change we are experiencing may seem unknown and fearful to us, but God knows what the end looks like, and He lays it out in the Bible. As Billy Graham once said, “I have read the last page of the Bible. It is all going to turn out all right.” So, spend a little more time in God’s Word this week, read and reread and reread, and then reread passages of Scripture so that as you read your fears may subside giving way to the affirming, strengthening, and encouraging whisper of the Spirit.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)