Change: How to Keep Calm and Carry On
(Listen to the audio version of this article here.)
The crocuses and daffodils are stretching upward to show off their color after a long winter’s nap, and our trees are budding and leafing. It’s mid-April as I write this.
With temperatures in the high 70s last week, we stored the snow-blower in the shop, uncovered the deck furniture, and set the Adirondack chairs around the firepit.
During this change-of-season ritual, I commented to my husband, “You know this means it will snow again, right?”
Yep. We woke up to three inches of the fluffy white stuff this morning. Of course. (Did I mention it’s mid-April?)
Here at the base of central Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, seasons shift and change every which way.
Now, I love all things winter—fireplaces crackling, homemade soups bubbling on the back burner, twinkling Christmas lights—but I’ll confess that we gardeners look forward to the variation in seasons.
How Do You Respond to Change?
Not all people are eager for change, though. If you struggle with it, here are three thoughts to consider:
To those who don’t like the idea of change—because it messes with our routine and we’re quite comfortable where we are, thank you—I would say this: Change is inevitable. And while it’s potentially messy and inconvenient, much good can come from it. When my husband died of cancer and I moved away from the familiar because I couldn’t afford to stay, it was a significant upheaval. But God repurposed my life and brought beauty from the change. And I love being in this new place. What if we could embrace change?
To those who are impatiently waiting for their circumstances to shift—for the body to heal, for the dreamed-about spouse to make an appearance, for the job promotion—I would say: Live today. Don’t wish the weeks and days and minutes of your life away. We have only this day, so why not live it well?
3) Step out.
For those who were blind-sided by change—the wife whose husband walked away, the person who was asked to leave a ministry, the husband who watched his wife die of cancer—I would say: Don’t be afraid to turn the page to the next chapter of your life as you help God write your story.
There’s a Season for Everything
It was Oswald Chambers who said, “Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Leave the broken, irreversible past in his hands, and step out into the invincible future with him.”
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, a descendant of King David (some believe it to be Solomon) wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
And then the writer lists several seasons of life: a time for birth and death, for tearing down and building up, for being silent and speaking out, for love and hate. There is a season for everything.
Change is inevitable. But here’s a steadfast, unchanging foundation on which we can solidly build our lives: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
Jesus never changes. He never reneges on His promises. He will never change His mind about wanting to share an eternity with us in a place where there will be no more brokenness or sorrow or unwanted change.
If the change you’re facing has rocked your faith, we encourage you to listen to this podcast episode: “Why, God?” Finding Hope when Faith Is Battered – 188