Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Winds of Change

"...the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17 (KJV)

I love old barns....


old tractors....


old buildings....


and old gas pumps.


Antique items.
Anything old.
Things that were built solid.
Things that have stood the test of time.

The only thing consistent in this life is change.

I guess that is one reason I love old things.
Their consistency....stability....familiarity.
The fact that they have remained...for a long period of time.

As I look at an old barn, I realize that even though it is still standing,
it isn't the same as when first built.
Its beams are sagging from years of faithfully supporting its load.
Its wood, once new and fresh-hewn, is now weathered....
from years of use and stormy winds it has outlasted and endured.

You can see a dent here, a missing roof shingle there, a plank pulled away by a gust of wind.
The winds of change...have blown many times through the years,
and each storm has left its mark, leaving the barn forever modified.

Nothing really ever stays the same....forever.
We will pass this way but once.
We will live this day but one time.
Then we will move on.
To different circumstances, new surroundings, a fresh day.
As long as we live, we are ever changing.

Sometimes, it seems things will stay the same....forever.
That nothing will ever change.
And nothing does....for a while.
We get into a daily routine that becomes our "normal".
The people, situations, scenarios....kind of blend until it is hard to recognize when one day ends and the next one begins....so similar are our seemingly never-ending days.

We get up day after day, and we do the same, exact thing...pretty much.
Nothing "uneventful" happens.

Then all at once, seemingly out of left field, straight from our blind spot...
change comes....unbidden, uninvited, and unannounced.
Life-altering change.
Sometimes it is close to more than we can bear.
Our lives are turned upside down and things become very unfamiliar.

Our routine is completely rearranged....unearthed....upstaged.

All feelings of "normalcy" are eradicated.
In a single moment.
And we come to realize that life as we knew it will never be the same....ever again.
And like the old barns, the winds of change leave their fingerprints behind....
on our hearts, on our minds, and on our lives.

The element of surprise is non-existent with God.
He is never shocked, surprised, or taken aback.
Changes come.
Changes go.
He sees them coming.
Every, single one of them.
He ordains and appoints the changes in our lives.

Nothing touches my life....or your life....that doesn't receive His approving nod first.

Accepting change is not the easiest thing in the world.
Even after we reach the point of acceptance to God's will.

God knows that if we were to stay in our individual comfort zone of sameness for too long,
we would soon find our safe cocoon had transformed into a rut.
A never-ending cycle that provides stability, but no room for growth.
So, now and then, into our carefully-planned arenas of life,
He allows the bottom to fall out.
To propel us forward.
Into new pastures.

We are left reeling from the shock of being forced from our nest of safety.
Out into the unknown...the untested....the unfamiliar.
We kind of stagger and reel, at first....trying to find a firm place to land our foot.
Trying to absorb the fact that our cocoon exists no longer.
That no matter how many tears fall, how much our heart breaks, how deeply we yearn for "normal",
"normal" is now permanently redefined.

Things will not go back to the way they were.

We will never go back to the way we were.

We are forced to accept that in order to keep living life, we are going to have to retrain our minds...
to open them up.....to the idea of....a new normal.

We must adjust.

The winds of change will blow....
into every one of our lives.
No matter how strategically we plan,
how strong and sturdy we build our fortresses of security,
or how much effort we put in to protecting our "normal".

We must accept that there is only so much in this life over which we have any control....at all.

The winds of change will blow upon...and alter....
the carefully-erected strongholds of normal in each one of our lives.
In spite of how carefully we have reinforced their walls against its power.
It will happen.
Change will come.

Change has never been one of my favorite things.
I crave consistency....I long for continuity....in my days.
Don't we all?
The earthly person who has loved me the longest...since the moment of my birth...
is gone.
Without a trace.
Just gone.
Change has come.
Life is altered.
I can fight it.
I can pretend it didn't happen.
I can long for the old normal.
I can become stuck...permanently....in this place of unbelievable shock and resistance.
Or I can accept God's will.
I can acknowledge that His hand allowed the winds to blow.
I can embrace the way life is going to be now.
And I can move forward.
Into our new normal.

The sting of what has happened will never go away...completely.
This will never stop hurting....entirely.
Life as we knew it is changed....permanently.

The winds of change have blown.
We have felt the force of their gale.
Life is different in the aftermath.
We are forever transformed.
More weathered than before.

But, like the old barns, we're still standing.

And how comforting it is to know that the One Who controls the wind never changes.

God permitted the winds of change to blow.
He dictated their direction.
He controlled their intensity.

And though He allowed, even appointed it,
He is still the same

He stands sturdy.  Strong.  Immovable.
Unaltered.
The same as always.

There is no shadow of turning in God.
He will not vary.
His faithfulness does not fluctuate.

Speaking of the power of Almighty God, the psalmist wrote this,
"And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind."
Psalm 18:10 (KJV)

He is over all.
He is sovereign.
He is in control.
Of everything....in your life and my life.

 Even the winds of change.

I choose to place my trust in Him....Who never changes.


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