When you think of “change” what comes to your mind? The weather – a cool change is so good on a hot summer’s day! New clothes? New job?
Sometimes we choose a change, but so often it is something we did not want. Maybe illness, or financial issues, or family matters.
When you face change in your life what questions or concerns come to mind? You might ask yourself: “Why is this necessary?” “When will it stop?”
Change produces a heightened anxiety in us. It is difficult to adapt to and we find ourselves seeking some sense of stability amidst the uncertainty we’ve encountered. A doctor might assess your condition and list you for an operation. While your symptoms cause anxiety, the operation means they may be dealt with and that helps alleviate some anxiety. Change is difficult and we seek stability and security amidst the uncertainty. So we may withdraw into ourself and to the familiar. We may refuse to engage with the change that is confronting us.
These ways of addressing change reveal an important problem. They show that we seek to find security and stability in our self, or our circumstances. They assume that we are in control. But we’re not. The more we desire stability, the greater is our negativity when we are confronted with change. Change like the economic situation, health problems, relationship issues, loss, social changes, and so on.
God has made this world so that we cannot find ultimate security or stability here. This world is passing away. God reveals to us that he, and he alone, is our ultimate security. He is our Rock. Our hiding place. God does not change. His love and faithfulness endure forever. Jesus has promised that by His Spirit, he is with us always. He will never leave us or forsake us.
In times when you feel the desperate need for security, for stability, remind yourself of Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. Recall that Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Further, God has given us his precious and very great promises so that we can set our hearts on the reality he has for us. He has given us a living hope, and an inheritance which can never perish, spoil or fade, and which is kept in heaven for us, and God guards us until we receive it. (1 Peter 1:3-5).
The hope God has given us is an anchor for our soul, firm and secure – this hope gives us constant access into the very presence of God, where Jesus has gone on our behalf (Hebrews 6:19-20).
This means we can endure the discomfort of change with confidence – no matter what happens. And because of Jesus we stand secure in him. So try to face change with confidence, even looking for how you may benefit from the change.
Michael Blake, Acting Rector
(NB: To see the Bulletin in full and in colour – log into your Elvanto account)