Here in Australia, the kids are on their summer break. The new school year commences in the beginning of February. My son will be going into what they call ‘Senior Secondary’ here and that is a change that will require more responsibility towards his studies and a start of a lot more thought to what he wants to do in the future. My husband has started a new job, a different department within the same company. The work is a bit different; it is fun and challenging to tackle something new but hard work too.
No year goes exactly the same as the year before. Our lives will look a bit or a lot different in 2020 to what it did in 2019. Change is inevitable. There are some changes that are expected and some unexpected. Life places demands on us and change as a consequence just has a way of showing up and that is something we have to navigate. It is not always easy or smooth. Change may come as a new phase, a welcome relief, a new season of your life, an unexpected challenge or a difficulty.
How I wish I could say I handle change with grace, but the reality is I do not glide into changed situations. I am one who does a lot of ‘recon’ before doing anything new so you can guess that sudden change is not my favourite thing. And at the start of the year I tend to wonder what lies ahead in the year.
Whenever change comes, we are presented with the question –
Do I have what it takes?
Change can make us feel uncertain and unsure.
Our Identity in Jesus is anchoring as we navigate life’s changes and challenges.
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Gods reminds us that we are His. We are loved by Him, valued by Him and whatever we face and will need in the coming year we can be assured that He will always be with us. Let not God’s goodness be defined in our eyes by our own subjective measures. God is Good, that is who He is.
With whatever lies ahead for us this year let us focus on allowing God to shape and mould our Character.
2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Heraclitus the Greek philosopher said “Change is the only constant thing in Life”. Our Identity in Christ is not fleeting. It is grounded in Him and His love for us. We are children of God, and that reality should profoundly determine how we respond and react to change.
Prov 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Scripture reminds and invites us to trust in the Lord. Our understanding only goes so far, we can try to navigate life situations and tend to rely on our own understanding and strength but we are to trust and submit to Him.
On the other side of change there is a new beginning.
Isaiah 43:16-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
If something new comes up bringing forth doubt and uncertainty, I remind myself that my situation might have changed but God is still my God, the same all powerful and loving Father and I am His Child.
There comes a desire to sometimes dwell on the former things, yes, we should look back to remember and see God’s hand in things which strengthens our faith but we must not dwell in the past because we can miss out on what God is teaching us or where He is leading us.
The saying by Glenda Cloud “Change is Inevitable but growth is intentional” is so apt and true.
God has new things planned for each one of us, let us be intentional in our growth and embrace them with trust, let Him lead and guide each one of us and may we faithfully trust Him through the continuity or discontinuity of things to come.