Reposted from Learning To Be Full Of Grace And Truth
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35, NIV).
One of my professors at Reformed Theological Seminary, Dr. Steve Brown, began a chapel message saying “Only two things don’t change: God, and change.”
I am thankful that God doesn’t change, but I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the fact that change doesn’t change either. Change that I like, plan for, work for, and that I can see the immediate benefit from I am fine with. Change like:
- Graduation from high school, college, and seminary.
- Marrying Mandi.
- Having our three girls.
- Moving out of Trenton, NJ (who wouldn’t be happy about that change!).
- Leaving my first church call for my current position at Bayfield Parish Church.
- Going from renting to owning a home.
- Reworking my schedule so Mandi could go back to work as a medical assistant.
The problem is that a lot of change happens in life that does not meet those qualifications. Change like:
- One of my pastoral mentors not being available to meet because of work responsibilities.
- Another of my pastoral mentors being diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
- A daughter who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and who has been struggling with deep depression that has led to cutting and thoughts of suicide.
- A friend who I am discipling and was helping through some extremely difficult stuff is in now a place where (while she is getting excellent care) communication is extremely limited.
I don’t really care for any of those changes. But I have been learning that while God certainly grows me though the former, He tends to favor working in a much deeper fashion through the later. The former grows my ability to love and lead and serve others. The later grows humility, faith, and dependence on God.
Another thing I have been learning in the midst of all this change is that the more you grow and mature in your ability to love and lead and serve others, the more necessary it becomes to be humble, to live by faith, and to depend on God. The more we trust in ourselves and our own abilities, the less we tend to look to God and His direction and leadership. God is not interested in making you feel capable, He is interested in showing you that He is capable. Remember, life is really about two lessons:
- You are not and were never meant to be enough, and
- In Jesus, you will always have enough.
Does this help my love/hate relationship with change? Not really. But it does make me more thankful that while everything else changes, Jesus does not. And that makes all the difference.