Change. Aw. Do We Have To?

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Every day now it seems like we are being confronted by more, faster, and bigger change. I don’t like change. Change is hard. Besides, my life is fine now, thank you. So, to have to do something new, and different, makes me uncomfortable and unhappy. I long for the good old days. Nevertheless, change is inevitable. And change can be good or bad. How do we know the difference?

We know we should change oil, change lightbulbs, and change clothes. We don’t want to change our doctors (and please no Doogie Howsers). We don’t change the stores where we shop, the restaurants where we eat, or our homes where we live. However, we do change our minds, change lanes (after signaling, of course), and we even have the chance to change our politicians every few years.

Our culture reflects the impact of change. From Tootsie to Mrs. Doubtfire to Wang Foo, movies showed cultural change, too. It is all around us. Santana called us to change our evil ways, baby. Jimmy Buffet sang to us about our “Changes in Latitude and Changes in Attitude” and Bob Dylan wrote and sang about how “The Times They are A-changin’”. David Bowie even stuttered throughout his “Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes.”

But, change is not only inevitable, but also accelerating, and the pace of that change is even more dramatic. I’m not going to go off on AI, drones, or quantum computing, but those words alone produce angst and not just because I don’t understand them, but because I think I do.

So, where can we turn? To the one book that doesn’t change, the “Bible”!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 describes what change means to Christians: “there is a time for everything; and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Any expectation of unchanging happiness in a changing world must end in disappointment. We must know and trust that God has a plan, a time, and a reason for everything, including change.

In Genesis (2:8 – 3:19) God created Adam and Eve and they were perfect. Any change they experienced was good. They changed to be able to tend the garden and learned more of God and of each other. Sin, however, altered their behavior, thinking, and their very nature. As a result, their environment and all human history changed. In our sin, we are left to wrest survival from an unforgiving planet. Change had come, and it was not a good change.
Even when mankind fell into sin, God did not change. His love for us remained the same. So much so, He sent His only begotten Son to save us. Faith in Christ is God’s avenue of change to restore us to Him and his Kingdom.

The Bible provides us with three clear examples of change God’s people did not want to accept:

The Israelites in slavery in Egypt did not want the change Moses offered them. Wandering through the desert, their faith waivered and Moses and his changes made things worse. (Exodus 5-6).

In the Book of Jonah, God directs Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah did not accept that change and did not go. He was swallowed by a whale for three days and nights then “returned” to his starting point.

At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus found an infirm man who had suffered his condition for  a long time. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6). A strange question   with a logical purpose. Before the Lord introduced the man to lifelong change, He wanted to know: Are you really ready to change?

The Israelites eventually found their land of milk and honey. Jonah preached his sermon in Nineveh. And the infirm man accepted his healing. They were all rewarded for their faith.
So, while I may not directly search out change, it is going to come. I am now going to see it for why God has brought it to my attention.  And even if I do not see the answer immediately, I am confident that God will give me the faith I need to accept it and move forward.

I am hoping and praying you will see the changes God is bringing to you this day too. Hoping you will see the good in the changes and they will help you live a better, happier life in Christ and his Kingdom.

© 2024, Chip Graber

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