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January 1, 2022 Changes and Challenges

Posted on January 1, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Have you ever heard the expression, “the more things change the more they stay the same?” If I had to choose one sentence to describe life, this would be it. And what a challenge it can be to embrace the inconsistency of our human condition.


In a blink, our children go from toddlers to teenagers and our whole world is upended. What fifteen years? Wasn’t it just fifteen minutes ago that we were changing their diapers and they were looking up to us with complete trust that we were the only living superhero?


One moment we have our loved one to laugh with, and the next they have gone on to heaven and all the things we had planned to do ‘someday’ is no longer possible. A flash and our plans are forever altered, our reality is skewed, and we’ve been thrust along a pathway we never anticipated and certainly wouldn’t have chosen.


Here we are at the beginning of a brand-new year, and there has been a lot of sarcasm about things getting worse rather than better. We found ourselves in the middle of an incomprehensible mess in 2020, it was carried over to 2021, and now we’re bitterly talking about it being twenty-twenty-too. Like the movie “Groundhog Day” it feels like we’re just reliving the same nightmare over and over and over.


The truth is the more things change the more they stay the same. From the time our ancestors were removed from Eden, the constancy of perfection that was taken for granted was no longer available. Even blessings, like the birth of a child, involve some sorrow and pain. We want to blame God for the many things we can’t understand but the truth is, mankind introduced pain into life -- not God.


But God still stepped in as our Rescuer. He can turn those changes we dread into challenges that will cause us to experience a different blessing. That defining moment in time that makes us feel like the earth has spun off it’s axis can also be the very second that God moves to give us something we need to grow and evolve. Because really, without change everything will eventually whither and die. And that in itself can be a change.


So, while we can’t always understand the whys and wherefores of the scariest transitions in our lives, we can cling to the sure knowledge that we’re not facing them alone. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God told the people of Israel to ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” God’s children were facing the fiercest of battles, but they were told they would be victorious despite great obstacles. In Hebrews 13:5 those same words are repeated -- “I [God] will never leave you nor forsake you.”


I have no idea what challenge (read change) that we may be facing as this bright shiny new year kicks off, but I know it will have a measure of pain as well as joy. And I also know that ‘although we walk through the shadow of death, we don’t need to fear…” So, let’s make a resolution to keep walking – not pitch a tent and wallow in our despair.


God is always breaking new soil in our lives, and that means some things must be plowed under for the new growth to occur. We don’t have to pretend to be happy about it, or even try and make it take on some sense, but we need to trust in the many promises that whatever we’re going through we are not alone.


My theme verse for this coming year is 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. I would invite you to learn it, work to let go of whatever is causing you pain and fear, and hold to its great assurance. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed (read changed) day by day. For our light affliction (I know it does NOT feel light), which is but for a moment (in God’s time), is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”


Remember -- in the change is a challenge. Let go, LOOK UP, and let God -- new day, new start, fresh blessings.




Happy New Year my Friend, God is on the throne!

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