The summer is nearly over. Hot days and warm nights will soon be replaced with falling leaves and frost. 2019 is two-thirds over already. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” The seasons change and so does life. As much as things appear to be the same day after day, forming endless routine, change happens, often without our notice and certainly without our permission. People come and go from our lives, jobs change, housing situations change, finances change, health issues, family issues. Often, we have no control over change and that leads to stress.
When you live out of a footlocker, you’d think life would be simple, yet somehow it isn’t. Anything lost, stolen, or broken can’t be easily replaced. When you don’t have much to start with, anything you lose becomes a big deal. How often does your reaction to a situation become an over-reaction? Are you a control freak? To quote Dr. Claire Lewicki from the Tom Cruise movie Days of Thunder, “Control is an illusion you infantile egomaniac. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next: not on a freeway, not in an airplane, not inside your own body and certainly not on a racetrack with 40 other infantile egomaniacs.” Or do you complain about something even if it might be better in the long run simply because of the “unknown” factor? It could be better; you just don’t know. It is true that we would rather deal with the devil we know.
I have a different suggestion on how to handle change. First, start by trusting the one who doesn’t change. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever.” You will always know where He stands. The red letters don’t change and apply today the same as they did 2000 years ago. Jesus understands what it means to be human, yet He sees a much bigger picture. We suffer from tunnel vision and need his perspective. He is the rock upon which we can stand. How much better can we handle the storms of life when we have our feet firmly planted on solid ground.
Second, we don’t have to go through anything alone. In Deuteronomy 31:5 God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He is always with his children. Jesus told the disciples in John 15:26 that the Heavenly Father would send us his Holy Spirit to be our guide and companion. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Furthermore in 2 Kings 6 is the story of the prophet Elisha and his servant. They were in a city surrounded by the enemy and the servant was in a panic. The prophet’s response was “Don’t worry. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Pray to the Lord to open your eyes like those of the servant so you can see that you can see the chariots of fire all around us.
Third, no matter how bad it seems, God has a plan. Romans 8:26 says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Our good and his purpose are the issue. When we are going through difficulties, we rarely think about how this might be good for us. Like building character or learning patience, our good will only be revealed later. God isn’t out to punish us; His purpose is to see everyone saved. As hard as it may seem to believe, our difficulties might be for the benefit of others and we are God’s messenger. We might be there simply to tell someone else about Jesus because we were the only one who could reach them. Like Peter we have to get out of the boat in the middle of the storm. The key to success is keeping our eyes on Jesus.
Lastly, Obey God’s Word and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 18:30 says, “The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Even when it doesn’t make sense. In Isaiah 55:9 God reminds us that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We don’t have to understand everything. In fact, the older I get the less I understand. Wisdom is knowing enough to realize I don’t know it all, accept that God does and be willing to learn from Him.
This summer has been a challenge for me. Instead of getting my dream job I spent the summer as a care giver for my mother and my girlfriend. It wasn’t the change I was looking for, and I definitely wasn’t in control of the hiring decision or the medical crisis’s that required major surgery. I brought in a little cash by doing odd jobs but had to put my goals aside to make sure that my family was taken care of. Now that they are able to function again, it’s time for me to look for work. I simply praise God that I could be there for them and that He provided exactly what I needed to get by.
I have learned by experience everything that I write about before I write it. My words to you are lessons that God has taught me. It is humbling to think that God would use me, but I pray that my words encourage you to keep the faith.
I continue to pray for you, seeking God’s favor on your life and that he will open doors for you. God hears and answers prayers, especially our cries for help. That simple four-letter word means more to our Heavenly Father than the best speech, when it comes from the heart. Because he already knows what we need, He just wants us to reach out in faith and ask.
I always enjoy hearing from you. If you need anything, I’ll do what I can to help. You are not forgotten.
Your Brother in Christ