By Julia Amting
We have all experienced it. A relationship that ends, a friendship that changes or ceases to exist, a new school, new experiences, new jobs. And these things often happen so quickly that we can’t seem to keep up fast enough, and adjust our lives accordingly to make them stable again. And life does not merely consist of large changes for the good and bad, but on a smaller scale as well, as our moods change throughout the day and we deal with struggles and daily difficulties.
Our Human Nature
Maybe there are some adventurous and daring souls out there who fearlessly embrace change with open arms, but I firmly believe that as human beings, we naturally tend to enjoy staying within familiarity. We find infinite comfort in knowing that we have that friend or boyfriend that will always be there to talk to and comfort us, a warm place to come home to every day from the same job that we know how to do well. We like to stick with what we know how to do, and the things we’ve seen before, rather than try to even imagine what we would do without them. We like to be comfortable. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it makes us reluctant to change, and, often simultaneously, reluctant to growth.
We naturally become so very attached to these seemingly constant things and people in our lives, and then slowly or suddenly, things are different, and it’s unsettling. You and a friend take life on separate paths, people don’t live up to our expectations, a relationship ends, and we lose or quit our jobs. It could even be on a smaller scale, losing faith in the Lord, having a restless heart. And we are left with that feeling of “Now what?”
This is where our human ability falters, because we’ve lost control over our lives, not knowing where to go from the place we stand, and not having that all-too-comfortable familiarity in our lives anymore. Joy is hard to come by. And if you struggle with change more than others (takes one to know one) there are so many things that we naturally tend to depend on for happiness.
So, we become increasingly frustrated. Will nothing stay the same long enough to enjoy it? How do friendships and relationships stay stable if all we do is constantly change? Our circumstances and our minds and moods are forever susceptible to change.
So should we go about our lives bitterly, keeping our hearts to ourselves for the fear of placing our dependence on anything or anyone, because it will all change anyways? By no means. We are called to love. We are called to make a boundless gift of ourselves to others. We are not called to stake our happiness and security on another human being or the things of this world. It is crucial that we understand this difference. This is by no means easy to put into practice. We all become weak and insecure.
So where can we place our trust? Where can we attain this strength?
That one’s easy.
We have a very loving God.
An amazing, incredible, constant God.
A God who provides us with abundant strength and mercy, pouring forth from His wounds, there for the asking.
A God who never changes throughout all of the seasons of life he brings us through, and always changes us for our ultimate good, growth, and joy. If you are searching for something that is unshakeable to rely on in a world where everything changes, Christ is the only place to find it. Hebrews 13:8 concisely summarizes this truth.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
God brings us through seasons of trial because he wants us to grow. He wants our ultimate good. Always. “We know that in all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)
My advice to you is, let yourself grieve the things that are over, but then be aware of and continue on this great adventure laid out before you by your Maker. For “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:9)
Most of us are familiar with the parable of the two men who built houses. One on sand, and one on stone. The sandy foundations represent the relationships and material things in our lives, things that can change. But the rock foundation represents our relationship with the Lord. Although the winds and rains of pain and change come our way, we are not shaken because of our firm foundation, that ultimate and unshakeable security. Because, honestly, if all we had was Him, we would have more than enough.
“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices” ~Theresa of Avila~
This is a point that always hits me hard. Personally, I place an infinite amount of value in the beautiful friendships that the Lord has blessed me with, as well as my dating relationships and my family. I praise God that He has provided me with certain gifts and people who do like me for who I am. But the biggest realization to make, is that if I was all of a sudden deprived of these blessings, His goodness alone is forever enough to fill me. I am complete without any relationship, popularity, my job, or material things. And I think this is a concept that we need to embrace.
We shall not be in want. He provides us with all the security and love we could ever have or need or imagine. So let us surrender our desire for control, and trust that God does good for those who love Him. There comes a point where we must embrace the inevitable, and allow the Lord to carry us through the changes, stretching us in ways that we didn’t know we were capable of.
And the truth is, the Lord has a very beautiful plan for us. One that often includes dreaded goodbyes, shut doors and open doors, and unfamiliar places and feelings. But it also includes growth, adventure, joy, and security that no matter how much our outward or inward circumstances change, He truly provides us with the peace, which transcends all understanding, that He alone is our security and our forever firm foundation.