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PILGRIM REFLECTIONS | “Coping With Change”

It’s inevitable; the question is “How will we respond to it?”

Change.

Such a small word. Only six letters. But, oh how big the ramifications!

By nature we don’t like it because we’re creatures who love our “comfort zones”—you know, those familiar routines where we can put life on cruise control, kick back and enjoy the scenery.

But, we know life’s not that way, is it?

Nope, it’s full of unexpected curves in the road…hills and dales…bumps and potholes, not to mention those detestable construction zones where traffic’s backed up for miles.

No, we love running full blast, feeling the wind in our face as we leave our cares behind. We much prefer a shanty by the seashore, with the sea-breezes gently blowing on us, to steep, uphill climbs with life’s backpack of burdens weighing us down.

And, when you throw in those unforeseen crises or calamities that catch us off-guard, leaving us reeling like a punch-drunk boxer, it’s enough to cause us to scream out loud and wave the white flag of surrender.

So, what are we to do when our lives have been turned upside down by change or we’re forced out of our comfort zones?

The answer may seem trite to some, but it’s still true:

Trust God.

Someone once said, “There are two things that are certain in life: death and taxes.” But, dear Reader, to that list we also should add “change”—for it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens.”

Thus, just as the seasons change in a temperate climate, so is life filled with changes. Some good, some bad. Some large, some small. Some exciting, some devastating.

But, again, the key in them all is our response to them. We can detest them or we can embrace them. We can throw a tirade against them or engage in thanksgiving in the midst of them. The choice is ours and determines if we’ll flourish, falter or fail.

And, thankfully, the Lord God has promised to “work them all together for good as we love Him and fulfill His Purpose in our lives” (Romans 8:28). Or, as someone else paraphrased it, “He uses EVERYTHING for our good and His Glory.”

So true, so true.

Therefore, the question again is “How do you respond to change, dear Reader?”

With open hands and heart? Clenched fists and gritted teeth? An attitude of gratitude or spirit of resentment and bitterness?

When Jesus came to this earth, He knew the Purpose for which He came. Most likely, by age 12 He’d come to realize in His human mind that His Journey would ultimately lead Him to the Cross. How great His anguish must have been because of His omniscience—for He knew ahead of time what was going to happen before it happened and what lurked inside one’s head and heart when He first met them.

We only know after the fact. And, how incredibly difficult it is even then!

Let’s face it:

Change is inevitable. And, quite often it is quite painful. Moving a loved one into a nursing home or having hospice come in isn’t on our bucket list; neither is losing a job, having our home blown away in a tornado or being told “I don’t love you anymore” by someone who pledged “till death we do part.”

That’s why we must trust and entrust our lives to the God Who changes not (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). Only by resting in the loving Hands of a sparrow-watching, hair-counting, tear-catching God can we have Peace in the midst of change, pain and perplexity.

Here’s praying you have that Peace, dear Reader. If not, the Lord Jesus is only a prayer away and cares for you very, very much. Cry out to Him; then rest in Him. That way, when change comes knocking at your door, you can have Him answer it and know all will be well. God bless you.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).

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