Fall has to be one of the best seasons in central Virginia. Color is everywhere. Trees that went unnoticed all summer long suddenly draw my gaze. The changing leaves make me smile in wonder at the perfect wisdom of our Creator God.
But let’s be honest. Change isn’t always so attractive. Sometimes change is painful. Bodies get sick. Children leave home. Friends move out of town. The job market dries up. We live in a world of constant change and much of it is less than comforting.
Given change plays such a significant role in our lives, I’m grateful God is not silent on the topic. Allow me to suggest four biblical responses to the reality of change.
1) Thank God that he doesn’t change
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change the like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. (Ps 102:25-27)
In the middle of change, when you feel like your world is spinning out of control, remember this: God’s not changing. He never has. He never will. He’s not a wildcard or a flavor of the month. He is the same. He is able to be your refuge in the midst of change for the simple reason that he never does.
2) Thank God that he changes us
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. (1 Cor 3:18)
As Christians, we should be very grateful for change. We need to be transformed. We need God to do what only he can do and make us more and more like himself with every passing day. God love us too much to leave us where we are. That means every type of change we experience at any point in our lives is ultimately making us more like Jesus. Sometimes we’ll sense that transformation as it’s happening. More often than not, we won’t see it until a couple years down the road when we have the benefit of hindsight. Regardless, one of the most important thing we can do in any season of change is to simply ask, “God, how are you making me more like Jesus through this situation?”
3) Thank God that he changes other people
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:6)
Sometimes the painful changes we experience are are a direct result of other people’s sin, mistakes, and weaknesses. Maybe that person is your child. Maybe that person is your spouse. Take hope in this: if they are a Christian, God has sworn that he will not stop changing them. You can’t do it, but he can. More than that, he will. Trusting God’s commitment to transform he people we love the most will keep us from trying to change them ourselves or demand that they change themselves.
4) Thank God that one day the entire world will change
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:4-5)
We shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that so much of the change we experience in this present world is painful change. After all, every part of our world has been ravaged by the effects of sin. But one day all that will change. One day we will be reunited with the Lover of our Souls. One day, we will see Jesus. On that day, he will punish the wicked, reward the righteous, and make all things new. Remembering the sure hope of change on that day will preserve our joy in the midst of change in this day. If you’re a Christian, every change you experience this week is change on the road to glory. That’s a good road to be on. That’s a future change worth living for.
So when a scarlet leaf captures your gaze this week, take a moment to remember what God has to say about change. We have a lot to be grateful for!