See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
Change. None of us like it. Rarely do we seek it. Even the word can strike fear in our hearts. Yet life is full of it.
Recently, I have undergone many changes in my life. So much so that it has seemed not one thing has stayed the same. My health has dramatically changed. My extended family has gone through turmoil and looks nothing like it did several years ago. The ministries I have been involved in for many years have been stripped away, and I’m having to rethink where God would have me serve. The house I have lived in for 21 years – the one I raised all of my children in - is about to be sold. My husband’s job of 18 years changed, which meant that our finances changed, our insurance changed, our doctors had to change, our daily routine changed, etc. And I left a church that I had been attending for 25 years, which meant friends and relationships are changing even as I write this.
So, what do you do when faced with that much change? Does your foundation shake? Do you crawl into a ball and retreat? Do you put your best foot forward and bravely push on? What is the answer?
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Wow! What great news! Despite all the changes going on around me, there is One who never changes! One whom I can cling to who is always the same.
Psalm 18:2 says, “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.” That is a foundation that will not shake! He is a rock, a fortress, a deliverer, a stronghold! What an amazing truth!
These changes have stripped away parts of me that I had come to rely on. Things of this world that I had equated with who I was, good things - ministries, friends, family, health. etc. Through the years, we get comfortable with the ways in which God is using us. The things we are involved in become who we are, and the way people see us becomes who we think we are. Through these changes, God began showing me a new way to see myself. A way where change doesn’t have a say - a new stream in the desert.
During this season of change, I have been cleaning out and getting rid of things to prepare to move. On one hand, this has been another source of change, to get rid of things that have defined and been a part of our family for years; yet on another hand, this has been a cleansing process. I have learned that, through the years, we all allow “junk” to gather in our hearts, just like we allow it to clutter our closets. Sometimes these are even good things, but we begin to let them define us instead of being defined by who we are in Christ. We accept labels such as prayer warrior, Sunday School teacher, caring friend, church member, mission advocate, responsible family member, etc.
None of those are bad things, but they are not who we are. They might be what we do, or how God is using us at a moment in time, but our identity is truly defined by who we are in Christ and that can never change! A person bought with a price, one who has been saved by grace, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb – that is a person who is the same regardless of any outward changes going on around them. They are a servant of the King, and what they do or where they live or who their family is or who their friends are or the state their health is in – all of that can change, yet everything in Christ still remains the same!
We are just passing through this earthly life. This is not our final destination, so cling not to things that change. Hold loosely to the blessings and pleasures of this world. Live with open hands to what God gives and what God takes away. Yet hold tightly to the One who never changes! Grasp on to the One who is steadfast and sure! He is faithful!
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