Three truths to help us embrace change
Fall is upon us. We can hear the winds of change rustling the air. Leaves tumble to the ground, and mornings whisk our breath away with the crisp cool breeze. Weekends are filled with the excitement of fall festivals and football. And as the days get shorter, we’re reminded the holidays are right around the corner.
As one year closes down, the next feels more present on the horizon. We are in a transition season, and it’s exciting and uncertain all at once.
Change isn’t something we have to fear.
Change is how God made the world, and while change forces us into the unknown, change isn’t something we have to fear. Remembering these three truths about change can help us accept and anticipate change, rather than avoiding it at all costs.
Change Is a Sign of Growth
On the other side of all changing things is growth. Without change, there would be unfertilized soil, both figuratively and literally. People would remain the same. Flora would not flourish without changing seasons, and without proper raising of cattle, we would not have beef.
Ecclesiastes 3 declares there is a time for everything, and in time, God makes everything beautiful. What seems like a season of hardship, confusion, or restlessness could be preparation for what God has waiting on the other side.
For example, few people would have ever looked at Saul and thought that one day he would preach the faith he sought to destroy. Saul was a religious zealot who murdered and imprisoned Christians. But then, a miraculous change occurred. Saul met Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and became Paul.
Everything in Paul’s past made him particularly well-suited for the new ministry God gave him: To bring the good news about Jesus “to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
Paul was a Jew who grew up in a non-Jewish, or gentile, city. He would have been well-acquainted with Jewish and Gentile customs and beliefs. Having trained as a rabbi, Paul had the theological credentials to gain the respect of Jews. But, he also had the cultural understanding to bridge the gap for gentile audiences.
As a Roman citizen, Paul could travel easily throughout Rome. Paul was also able to speak and write in three languages — Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek — which would have come in handy as he lived and traveled through the Mediterranean.
In the years after becoming Paul, Saul saw how God worked through so much of his past to prepare him for his future ministry.
Change Is an Opportunity for New Experiences
On the other side of any change is the opportunity for something new and exciting.
Take a change in career, for example. It can be overwhelming to leave what is familiar and embrace the unknown. But a new career also provides new opportunities, the opportunity to build new relationships and learn new things.
Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us not to dwell on the past. God is doing a new thing in each of us every day. With each new experience, we can learn from the past and grow into our full potential.
Change Draws Us Closer to Jesus
During times of uncertainty, we search for Jesus and lean into Him more than ever. How many times have you found yourself in a shaky situation and your first instinct is to pray? It’s no coincidence our natural reaction to change is to ask for help and reassurance.
While we are hard pressed, we are not alone.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says that while we are hard pressed we are not alone. God is within us and is at work inside of us, even during the most trying seasons of life. There will be trying seasons (as Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us), but we were all created from dust and we will all return to dust. In other words, no matter what life throws our way we will leave this world just as we entered it.
Growing closer to Jesus is the difference between surviving this life and thriving in this life. Ephesians 2:1-22 is a glorious description of how we are made alive in Christ. Jesus has saved a seat for us in heaven, despite our sin and transgressions. We have a beautiful change to anticipate — death in flesh to life in Christ. What a beautiful thing change can be!
As Christians, we don’t have to fear change. The Bible gives us countless reassurances of this truth, and spending time with God allows us to take those promises and apply them in everyday life.
Use times of uncertainty to trust God and His promises, and remember the promises He made and kept in the past. God won’t abandon. On the other side of change are trust, growth, and endurance. Dig deep and embrace change — there is a beautiful season just around the corner.