CHANGE sweeps into our lives as a wind that comes. Nobody knew the wind was coming, and nobody cares much to speculate how it might change in speed, direction, or intensity. Change is like that; reality can change from one breath to the next.
We have become experts at expecting change. It makes us anxious when we shouldn’t be. Or we learn to plan for the best, whilst expecting the worst. Even the fact of the chance of change brings an uneasiness, especially when we are in the actual practice of doing something enjoyable.
Some changes in life are more horrendous than others.
These are the changes that totally redefine — against our hope and will — all of what life has now come to be. We are angry, confused, upset, pleading with God, in denial — and sometimes we are all these at once. It’s exhausting, debilitating, and what the irreligious might say is soul-destroying. Such seasons for these changes to happen — I’d predict, from experience as a pastor and counsellor — are usually in people’s 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, but some in their 20s and many in their more senior years are afflicted. We are apt to think that those afflicted early in life are unfortunate, but, as we will read later, that’s not always the case.
The change we discuss here is always against our will. Having our ‘old’ life ripped from under us, like a carpet on polished wooden floor, hurts a great deal. There is the initial feeling of having been stunned at the loss of footing, not to mention the stars in our eyes as we attempt to get up dazed and punch drunk, even concussed. Learning to stand on a hard floor is a shock, and when that precious carpet rug can no longer be found we feel we are totally comfortless.
The time taken to adjust to such significant life change can be months and several of them. I would seek not to discourage you in speaking in terms of a year or more, but that, too, is a fact for some. Was for me.
But the glorious hope in all this is this fact — a fact that always comes to pass: This, too, shall pass. If we are patient in our affliction, and hopeful enough never to ultimately give up on our mission and vision, this horrible iniquity, too, shall pass. And not just that! God will compensate us for our quietude in affliction. If we suffer this as Jesus suffered the cross — or as best as we can do — God will compensate us because of our faith. He will increase our faith by measures of multiplicity.
In the meantime, there is grace given to us as we learn to live our new life now. Grace and much acceptance.
Change will bring great unease,
To the way in which we live,
But when we only have God to please,
We simply commit to give.
If we don’t know what to do, then, to give and to keep giving is to keep receiving from God. Give your love away, for no one can take our love away.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.